MOFA to compensate for poultry, products destroyed by VSD

BY: Musah Yahaya Jafaru & Akua Attaa Affum

A compensation package is to be rolled out by the Ministry of Food and Agriculture (MoFA) for poultry farmers whose birds and poultry products were destroyed following the outbreak of bird flu in the country.

The Deputy Minister of Food and Agriculture in charge of Livestock, Dr Hanna Bissiw, declined to disclose the total compensation package or the breakdown but indicated that the package would cover all the 40,154 birds destroyed in the Greater Accra, Volta and Ashanti regions by the Veterinary Services Directorate (VSD) as part of measures to contain the outbreak.

Speaking at a meeting with poultry farmers and poultry traders in Accra yesterday, Dr Bissiw also said the package would cover the value of the eggs, poultry feed and structures that were destroyed.

A total of 1,103 crates of eggs and 37 bags of feed has been destroyed since the outbreak was first recorded in May this year.
“I want to assure farmers that compensation will be paid for the birds, feed and structures destroyed,” she said.

Bird flu outbreak

In May 2015, the highly pathogenic Avian influenza, H5N1, commonly called bird flu, was recorded in the Greater Accra Region.

The Ashanti and the Volta regions subsequently recorded some cases of bird flu.
In a bid to contain the outbreak, veterinary officers destroyed the affected birds, eggs and structures.

Restricted compensation

The deputy minister indicated that MoFA would pay compensation for only birds that were destroyed by veterinary officers.

She, therefore, asked poultry farmers to report any suspected case of bird flu to the VSD for immediate diagnosis.

She said if the results showed that the birds were affected, the veterinary officers would destroy them and the structures.
Thereafter, she said, the ministry would pay the commensurate compensation to the affected poultry farmers.

Awareness campaign

Dr Bissiw said MoFA would intensify the bird flu awareness campaign among poultry farmers and traders in the northern, middle and southern zones of the country.

As part of measures to contain the outbreak, workshops on bird flu would be organised for 240 poultry farmers in Dodowa, Kumasi and Tamale from September 2 to October 2, 2015, she said.

Concerns of poultry farmers

The poultry farmers expressed concern over the negative perception that some members of the public had about poultry, following the outbreak of the bird flu.

Among others, they appealed to MoFA to contain the outbreak and create awareness of the safety of poultry before the Christmas festivities set in.