The Lagos State Government says it will establish a butchers’ academy in order to train new and existing butchers in global best practices on slaughtering in the red meat value chain in the State.
The State Commissioner for Agriculture, Ms. Abisola Olusanya stated this Thursday during the test run of a new semi-mechanised abattoir under the Public-Private Partnership at Bariga area of the State.
Olusanya said that the academy would attract youths into the sector through the adoption of technology and in an effort to make them the next generation of butchers.
In her words: “We have what we call the butchers’ academy coming up where we want to train our existing butchers for them to see the best global practices around slaughtering. We want to start bringing in graduates and the youth to be the next generation of butchers but the only way to attract the youth into this sector is to have mechanised and semi-mechanised abattoirs”.
“We cannot bring them into the traditional slaughtering on the slab which is not hygienic, wholesome and does not attract the right customers that will pay the margins and will make this sector attractive to people. The onus is on us as a government to ensure that we train our existing butchers and also to show the new butchers that this is the system we want to inculcate going forward and we believe that it is just a matter of time before that re-orientation sets in and everyone adopts this technology”, the Commissioner said.
Olusanya said that there are 12 semi and fully mechanised operational abattoirs in the State, adding that some of them were setup through the public private partnerships.
She explained that the State has two fully mechanised lines in Agege, Oko-Oba Abattoir as well as other Public-Private Partnership collaborations on semi and fully mechanised slaughterhouses, urging butchers to embrace technology in order to enrich themselves and make their work easier, faster and more profitable.
The Commissioner noted that the semi-mechanised abattoir at Bariga would create about 2000 direct and indirect jobs when fully operational, adding that the aim of the partnership was to show Lagosians the need for safe, sanitised and hygienic slaughtering of meat.
According to her, “This Public-Private Partnership (PPP) project between the Lagos State Government and a private player, Lion Unisco has been on for the last couple of months and we are here for an actual test-run with anticipation that we should have it operational by the end of the year. This facility is also expected to generate direct and indirect employment of between 1,500 to 2,000 people”.
“In the last couple of months, the State Government had embarked on a sensitisation programme on monitoring, enforcement and compliance to ensure that the illegal abattoirs and slaughter slabs are shut down, because this is this kind of facilities that we are trying to promote”, she said.
Olusanya said that the State Government is receptive to the idea of collaborating with the private sector participants to have facilities such as the Bariga abattoir, with a view to ensuring the proper slaughtering of meat in a hygienic and wholesome manner.
“There is another abattoir in Badagry, Trans Selectal Abattoir coming up shortly by December also. All this goes to show that in terms of our reforms in the red meat value chain, we are very serious about changing the narrative going forward”, the Commissioner asserted.