ECONOMIC ANALYSIS OF FOOD SAFETY AMONG PORK MARKETERS
Pig is one of the domestic animals found in Nigeria and most parts of West Africa. Pigs are reared for the production of meat called pork and fat called lard. The pig produces litters twice a year. One litter or one birth give between eight (8) and sixteen (16) piglets. They also eat anything that is edible when given. Although, the rearing of pig and its consumption is not popular in Moslems areas in Nigeria because of the religion. Some people look at pigs as dirty animal usually found in muddy water, the meat is also believed to be responsible for the carrying of tapeworm, to human beings. This is probably responsible for some people prefer meat from other animal to pig meat. The breeds of pigs now reared in Nigeria include those that are native to Nigeria and the one brought from other countries such as Britain and United States of America.
Local West Africa Dwarf Pig: This breed are kept by the local farmers in villages and towns in southern parts of Nigeria. It is small in size and usually black or brown in colour. It lives in dirty environment, and eats anything that comes it way. The breed is a native to West Africa.
Large White: This is a popular meat producing pig in Nigeria. It is white in colour with average size, it is resistant to trypanosomiasis disease, hence found in Southern Nigeria – the pigs is a native to America.
Land race: This is larger than other breeds of pig. It has white hairs and skin. Land race has ears which are pointing forward. The animal has very good meat. It originated from Norway. Duroc: The pig has large body. The colour is golden yellow or cherry red. It has droopy ears. The animal come from U.S.A.
Large Black: The animal is black in colour with droopy ear. It is a god meat (pork) producer and came from U.S.A.
Chester White: The pig has white skin, the ears are droopy and heavier than duroc. It can produce many offspring in one birth. It originated from Pennsylvania in U.S.A
Tamworth: the animal has red colour, large head, small legs and slim body. It is a native of Ireland.
PRODUCTION STRATEGIES (MANAGEMENT)
There are three (3) major production strategies which are as follows:
(1) intensive management practices
(2) Semi-intensive management practice and/or free range management practices. Pigs are very prolific animals whose rate of production is better than most other domestic animals. Pigs have a high conversion rate of 1:5 of the Gross energy taken. They are able to convert compounded fats into meat more cheaply and rapidly than most other domestic animal. Pork carcass yields a high percentage of dressed meat and a high portion of edible parts.
Pork is a good source of animal protein. It is high in energy, attractive, nutritious, tasty and tender. This is apparently due to the fact that slaughter animal are young, so, because of these development concerning pork meat, many business men and women have since seize the opportunity to go into the venture as marketing (trading), and consumption of pork meat, but that not withstanding, the safety aspect must not be neglected, and those who sale the meat pork and those consuming the product.
Meat inspection is commonly perceive as the sanitary control of slaughter animal and meat with the purpose of providing safe and wholesome meat for human consumption and to ensure that only apparently healthy, physiologically normal one are slaughter for human consumption and abnormal animals are separated and dealt with accordingly. The responsibility of achieving this objectives lies primarily with the relevant public/private health authority, the problem associated with the meat production, centres on the role and functional effectiveness of the heath ministry, yet the observing thought that has become all too evident in the year past is that, increase in meat production alone is not the answer. This is so, partly because such an increase is sometimes supported without appropriate pre-slaughter/post slaughter measure and safety status of animal which should be properly tackled and taking into consideration.
In many countries of the world, meat inspection lack the necessary information and guideline to access the sanitary status of animal, meat from slaughter animal (FAO, 1998) and the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) in collaboration with the World Health Organization (WHO) approved the foundation of the international commission of codex Alimentarius to establish a joined program on food regulation (FAO, 2003).
The Codex Alimentarius, has turned into the reference point for food businessmen, industrialist, traders and consumers, it is the guide for the international, national organization in charge of the products’ control for the elaboration of the internal quality regulation of food, for protecting the consumers health at local, regional, national and world scale (FAO, 2003). World Health Organization has therefore endeavour to prepare a concise guideline on the subject together with colour illustration demonstrating the pathological lesion that many occur in pigs, bovines, small ruminant, poultry etc, the statement was made on the judgment of disease carcasses or part of the carcasses are recommendation, which are influenced by the need of salvaging as much meat as possible for human consumption and that abnormal animal should be separated appropriately and dealt with accordingly. To ensure that animal or meat (from abattoir) are free from disease, wholesome and possess no-threat to human (WHO, 2003).
The problem which the study seeks to address is the issue of consumer safety. The concern is that meat should not predisposes man to food born diseases. The research questions are:
a. To estimate the determinant of food safety.
b. To identify the food safety practice.
c. To estimate the cost of food safety.
The general objectives of the study is to examine the safety issues associated with pork meat marketing in the study area. The specific objectives are:
1. To identify the socio-economic characteristics of the pork marketers.
2. To identify safety practices adopted by pork seller in the study area to guarantee consumers safety.
3. To estimate the determinant of pork meat consumer safety in the study area.
This study seeks to accomplish and increase awareness and knowledge, on how to provide wholesome meat for human consumption, and the need to position the general public, inspection/health ministry and of course, the abattoir operators of their call to duties instead of the negligence that has become a course for concern, owing to disease threat and it related condition. And also, because of deformed nature of the appropriate agencies and ministry, the abattoir operator has cease the opportunity to slaughter sick animal and disease management history. And on the other, the small retailers in our various market has not meet up with their safety security measures. This study is therefore meant not only to bring to our minds the pre-cautionary measures, but safety consciousness, the appropriate ministries, and to remind them of their responsibilities, why the general public should be aware also that wholesome meat and its consumption is their right to life. The wholesomeness of meat and their consumption should spur us to imbibe the spirit of food security for a better and happier living.