LagoS – The Lagos State Government has solicited the support and cooperation of market women and men on the need to ensure cleanliness of all meat markets in the state.
Prince Gbolahan Lawal, the State Commissioner for Agriculture, made the plea on Sunday in Lagos at a meeting with Iya Lojas and Baba Lojas of all markets in the state.
Lawal said that government was was seeking their support in collaboration with the Local Government and Local Council Development Areas in the state to achieve clean meat market.
The commissioner said the call became imperative in furtherance of the push for a conducive and hygienic environment in the red meat value chain.
He 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.
Lawal said that the current use of wood butchers’ table and the mode of conveying beef cuts or chunks from the abattoirs to the markets were unacceptable, hence, the reforms in the red meat value chain.
The commissioner said that a survey undertaken by the ministry had revealed the very deplorable state of the meat markets in the state.
He, therefore, advocated the need for market women and men to work closely with the state government in adopting a system that was 21st century compliance in the red meat value chain.
“The meeting with market women and men is part of the series of engagements with the stakeholders whose support and cooperation are crucial toward the effective implementation of the reforms.
“A similar engagement had been done with the butcher association in the state.
“The objectives of this reforms include: to improve the red meat value chain to meets international standards.
“To ensure that wholesome and hygienically processed beef was available to the populace and the modernisation of all meat outlets to international standard.
“Lagos wants to redefine the red meat value chain by standardising 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 said.
Lawal recalled that some of the immediate strategies for implementation were the linking of approved slaughter houses and abattoirs to the markets being supplied through the EKO Refrigerated Meat Vans.
He added that the abattoirs supplying various markets would now be identified and classified by the meat vans such that butchers in such abattoirs were not only identified, but linked to the market they supply with the use of a color tag/code.
Responding, the Iya Loja’s and Baba Loja’s resolved to oversee to hygienic conditions in the sales and handling of beef in their various markets.