Lagos moves to reform red meat value chain
To ensure the consumption of healthy and wholesome red meat in Lagos State, the Commissioner for Agriculture, Gbolahan Lawal, has inaugurated a three-pronged strategy with the acronym ATM – Abattoir, Transportation and Market.
Kicking off the pilot phase of the project at Ita Faji Market in Lagos Island yesterday, he noted, “The three-pronged strategy is to guarantee the safety and health of the populace by ensuring that only certified animals are slaughtered and wholesome beef is available in our markets.”
This development, he argued, would boost international recognition of beef from the state, thus opening up an export portal for foreign exchange.
According to him, many African countries like Botswana, Namibia, Ethiopia and Kenya export meat to Europe, Saudi Arabia and other third world countries.Botswana alone exports about 9,000 tonnes of meat to Europe and 10,000 tonnes to Saudi Arabia, thus enjoying unlimited preferential market access to the European Union (EU), competing with meat exporting countries like Brazil.
He stated, “How did our brother African countries do this? The answer is solely because of the reforms they have been able to carry out in their red meat value chains, which enable their red meat to meet international standard.”Series of engagements were held with critical stakeholders in the state to ensure the success of these reforms, he disclosed.
“Let me reiterate that the main objective of this reform is to promote wholesome and hygienically processed beef for the populace. From the handling of these animals up to the processing stage where they are taken to the market for sale, proper care and attention must be ensured to achieve the goals of the state government to produce healthy meat for consumption and export,” the commissioner pointed out.He enjoined stakeholders to support the reforms, adding that their success depended on everybody.
“Changing the red meat value chain is a collective effort, hence all hands must be on deck to revamp the sector. The progress of the industry lies in our hands; let’s all do our part to ensure that only wholesome beef is sold to the populace.“The export potential for beef is very huge, and tapping into the multi-billion dollar market will only be possible with these reforms,” he stated.