By; RAYMOND TEDUNJAYE, Lagos
The Lagos State Government has solicited the support and cooperation of market women and men in the State in collaboration with Local Government and Local Council Development Areas in ensuring the cleanliness of all the meat markets in the State.
The State Commissioner for Agriculture, Prince Gbolahan Lawal who made the call in Lagos over the weekend when he met with Iya loja and Baba Loja of all the markets in the State noted that the call becomes imperative in furtherance of the push for a conducive and hygienic environment in the red meat value chain.
Lawal further urged them to enforce the use of a uniformed hygienic butchers’ table as well as meat crates or boxes to convey beef cuts or chunks to the markets stressing that the current use of wood butchers’ table and the mode of conveying beef cuts or chunks from the abattoir to the markets are unacceptable hence the reforms in the red meat value chain.
He pointed out that a survey undertaken by the Ministry revealed the very deplorable state of the meat markets in the State hence he advocated the need for the market women and men to work closely with the State Government in adopting a system that is 21st century compliance in the red meat value chain.
Lawal explained that the meeting with market women and men was part of the series of engagements with stakeholders whose support and cooperation are crucial towards the effective implementation of the reforms adding that a similar engagement had been done with the Butcher Association in the State.
The Commissioner noted that the objectives of the reforms include the need to improve the red meat value chain so that it meets international standards; to ensure that wholesome and hygienically processed beef is available to the populace and the modernization of all meat outlets to international standard.
“Lagos wants to redefine the red meat value chain by standardizing its slaughtering, processing and marketing in order to ensure that wholesome beef is not only available but that the beefs are traceable as well. Moving forward, we have grouped the implementation strategies to be used into immediate, intermediate and long term,” the Commissioner opined.
He recalled that some of the immediate strategies for implementation is the linking of approved slaughter houses and abattoirs to the markets being supplied through the EKO refrigerated meat vans adding that abattoirs supplying various markets would now be identified and classified by the meat vans such that butchers in such abattoirs are not only identified but linked to the market they supply with the use of a color tag/code.
Meanwhile, the Iya Loja and the Baba Loja resolved to oversee to hygienic conditions in the sales and handling of beef in their markets.