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Lagos Plans Butchers’ Academy, Meat Shop



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The Lagos State Government says it is activating its plan for the state Red Meat Initiative with the establishment of a feedlot system, a butchers’ academy and a meat shop in the state.

Speaking on Thursday at the Lagos Food Systems Stakeholders’ Breakfast Meeting, in Alausa, Ikeja, the Commissioner for Agriculture, Abisola Olusanya, said the Lagos Feedlot System was being built on a 750-hectare of land in Igbodu, Epe.

Olusanya, who noted that Lagos is the highest consumer of red meat in Nigeria and West Africa, said the government was working on the Lagos Red Meat Initiative owing to the huge financial benefits in the sector.

She said, “Lagos consumes the most meat in Nigeria. Even for the West African belt, we still consume the most meat.

“When you talk about the financials around it, it is huge. And it is also a sector that when you compare it to what other countries have been able to do, compared to South Africa, compared to, let’s say Brazil, it’s actually taking their economies to different heights completely.

“The billions of dollars that they are earning and the amount of resources they put, particularly in red meat space, it showcases that there’s a lot of potential here, and we have a lot to do. So, we had made mention, we want to set up a feedlot. And the idea around setting up the feedlot might seem a bit far out for Lagos, but I don’t think it is totally foreign.

“You have countries like Israel that we’re seeing as desert lands, but when it comes to agricultural production, they are one of the best in the world. When you look at countries like the Netherlands, almost similar terrain to Lagos, in fact, the water level, the entire country is practically below sea level. But yes, they are the second largest agricultural exporting country in the world.

“And the GDP, when you consider agriculture’s contribution, it is second to none. So, to say that something is impossible, or Lagos should not even look at it, I beg to differ. And like I said, the reason being that we are the market for red meat in West Africa also drives home the fact that something still can be done around us, showcasing that, yes, we can participate in this space.

“We have about 750 hectares that we acquired in Igbodu.”

She noted that the feedlot will be allocated to stakeholders in the red meat processing sector and it will proffer solutions to the challenges caused by open grazing.

The commissioner added that the state is planning a Butchers’ Academy to get youths to be involved in the red meat value chain.

“Also, we will be having the Butchers’ Academy, and the idea around the Butchers’ Academy is, if you look at the value chain from top to bottom, from feedlots ranching to the consumers’ table, if we are doing things around the feedlots, around the ranching, in between the very top producers and the final consumers, what kind of butchers, what kind of processors do we have in between?

“A lot of our alapatas, that is what we call the butchers, they are ageing, and you don’t see a lot of the young ones wanting to come into the space, and you can’t blame them also, because when they are also not seeing changes when they don’t see the progression within the space, it doesn’t encourage the young ones.

“So, to start to change that narrative, we have partnered with a few even of the consumers here, who have mechanised abattoirs to ensure that they start to help us to train the youth in such a way and manner that, yes, they can take on the trade, but not just to take on the trade,” she said.

According to her, the Butchers’ Academy will revolutionise the beef industry by providing a platform to educate butchers on standard operational protocols, showcasing modern techniques in butchery, creating job opportunities for the youth, regulating the industry, linking potential investors to licensed butchers, and positioning Lagos beef for international markets with world-class standards in processing and packaging.

Olusanya further stated that the government plans a meat shop, the Last Mile Meat Shop, to complete the red meat value chain.

“You see the Last Mile Meat Shop, which is supposed to be the interface with the consumer, we’ll be implementing it in a couple of months, and the idea around this also is to start to showcase that there are better ways in which meats can be displayed, there are better ways in which meats can be preserved, and there are better ways in which meats can be sold.

“We should start selling meats by kilo, not by touching of hands. You don’t know why someone has even put their hands in and then they come in, and they touch the meat, you also come, you touch it, you leave it, you know, just to showcase that this is how it’s done in other parts of the world.

“So, for those who will be in the Butchers’ Academy, the idea is for them to also be the ones to man these meat shops,” she added.

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