The government has released GH¢20million to compensate poultry farmers affected by the outbreak of Avian Influenza (bird flu).

Disbursement is to begin immediately and is under the first tranche of a budgeted GH¢44million approved last December in support of farms hit by the flu, Minister of Food and Agriculture, Dr. Owusu Afriyie Akoto, said in Accra.

“To ensure all affected farmers from July to December 31, 2021, receive some compensation for any losses incurred as a result of the outbreak, the ministry has agreed to pay GH¢30 for a mature bird, GH¢20 for a pullet, GH¢10 per chick, GH¢80 for a bag of feed and GH¢10 for a crate of eggs based on the amount available immediately,” he said at a press briefing on disbursement of the compensation.

About 203 farms are expected to benefit from the GH₵17million that has been dedicated for compensation paid out of the total amount. They include an outstanding 36 poultry farms affected by bird flu between 2015 and 2018 and 167 from July to December 2021.

Since December, 554,638 birds affected by the flu were culled – with 2,548 crates of eggs and 1,701 bags of feed also destroyed for being contaminated. Affected farmers are expected to present Veterinary Services Directorate certificates of destruction to the finance department of the ministry to be paid.

To ensure the money serves the intended purpose, he said, the ministry has built a database of all affected farmers since 2016 to date to ease payment of compensation.

Additionally, he said, biometric registration and certification of all poultry farms is currently ongoing in the country.

This, he added, is part of modernising poultry farming in the country and enhancing the availability of accurate data for planning, targetting for support and payment of compensations when the need arises in the future.

He, therefore, urged all farmers to participate in the exercise aimed at building a comprehensive database of poultry farmers.

For his part, the Chairman of the Ghana National Association of Poultry Farmers, Victor Oppong Adjei, thanked the government for the support and efforts to streamline the poultry value chain.

Recruitment of new extension officers

To improve on extension services across the country, Dr. Akoto revealed that the ministry has recruited 2,700 extension officers – the majority of whom came from the Agriculture Module of the Nation Builders Corps.

Source: Business and Financial Times