The Poultry Farmers Association of Ghana is appealing to the government to increase the compensation given to farmers whose birds are affected by Bird Flu.
As part of measures to curb the disease from spreading, the Ministry of Food and Agriculture and the Veterinary Services Department is mandated to kill and properly dispose off infected birds, after which farmers will be compensated with ₵30 per bird.
Speaking to Joy Business, the Vice President of the Greater Accra Poultry Farmers Association of Ghana, Kwame Ntim Duodu lamented that it takes farmers an average cost of ₵60 cedis to keep a single bird, hence the ₵30 is woefully inadequate.
“A poultry farmer can spend about ₵60 to keep a bird. This includes feeding, electricity, and chemicals. If the bird is affected by a flu and you say you want to give the farmer ₵30 to kill and bury the bird, the farmer is losing,” he said.
He stated that the money is woefully inadequate and will not help the fight against the flu.
“If we want to encourage farmers to report the outbreak of the flu, then we must compensate farmers adequately,” he stressed.
Meanwhile, Mr. Ntim Duodo has appealed to Ghana Veterinary Services Department to exempt poultry farmers from the cost of disinfecting bird flu-infected farms to encourage farmers to report outbreaks.
According to him, the charges imposed by the veterinary services before infected poultry farms are disinfected, are unbearable since farmers are already losing from the destruction of the birds affected by the flu.
Mr. Ntim Duodu appealed to the government to step in since poultry farmers are losing all their investments.
“If you ask a farmer who has lost most of his birds to the flu to still pay for the cost of the disinfection exercise, it will be a burden”, he said.
He maintained that it will be prudent and encouraging if the government borne all the cost of disinfection to encourage farmers to report cases of the flu.
“The veterinary services should do more than what they are doing currently. A report from a farmer in Sunyani says that the vet services attended his farm that was affected by bird flu and they asked the farmer to buy the disinfectant to disinfect the place”.
According to Mr. Ntim Duodo, the issue of bird flu is a public health situation that must be addressed through state intervention.
He stressed that the farmers are already going through difficult moments by reporting cases, which lead to the destruction of their birds.