The Lagos State government says it will establish a butcher’s training academy in the state.
The government said the plan is to train butchers, both new and existing dealers, in the global best practices around slaughtering business.
This was announced on Thursday by the State Commissioner for Agriculture, Abisola Olusanya, at the test run of a new semi-mechanised abattoir for cow and goat under the Public-Private Partnership in Bariga area of the state.
Butchery business involves the process of slaughtering of animals and preparing these animals for sale to users as meat.
Ms Olusanya said the plan is to encourage graduates and other youths in the state to be part of the sector so as to build a meaningful generation in the butchers business.
“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,” the commissioner said.
“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,” she added.
The academy, if implemented as said by the Lagos government will be the first of its kind in the country.
However, as demand for meat increases daily, the business becomes lucrative as it creates more opportunities in the sector’s value chain. Therefore, the establishment of the academy seems necessary as the state government seeks to expand and regulate the sector.
In an effort to regulate the slaughtering business in the state, the Commissioner said the government had recently constituted a team with a mandate to dislodge illegal abattoirs, control and enforce policies relating to the transportation and sale of red meat in the state.
Ms Olusanya also explained further the importance of training the butchers and adopting technology into the sector.
“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 those re-orientation sets in and everyone adopts this technology,” Mr Olusanya said.
Speaking about the effectiveness and capacity of the new semi mechanized abattoir, the commissioner said the abattoir will be able to be operational by the end of the year.
“The semi-mechanised line actually gives a sort of midway intersection and flexibility between what exists already and what we want to get to. So what we will be having going forward will be a mix of semi-mechanised and fully mechanised abattoirs,” the commissioner said.
“By right, this abattoir should have direct employment generation of well over 500 people and indirect employment of another 1,000 people. So in this facility alone, we should be having employment generation activities of between 1,500 to 2,000 people,” she added.