Gov’t disburses GH¢1.8M to farmers affected by Bird Flu in Central Region

Economics Farmers Compensation
Economics Farmers Compensation

The Ministry of Food and Agriculture (MoFA) has paid GH¢1.8million in compensation to 24 farmers affected by the bird flu in the Central Region.

The compensations were paid for the destruction of about 99,744 birds comprising about 20,744, which died from the disease, and 78,997 killed by veterinary officers in 2021 to prevent further spread.

During the period, 151 bags of poultry feed and 442 crates of eggs were also destroyed.

Dr Patrick Abakah, the Acting Director of the Veterinary Services of MoFA, said the payment of compensation was carried out transparently to ensure justice for every poultry farmer who was affected.

He was speaking in Cape Coast on Thursday during an agriculture stakeholders’ forum, organised by the MoFA to assess the progress of the sector towards sustaining national food security.

Dr Abakah announced that 11 months into 2022, the bird flu infestation had reduced to 10,376 in seven farms.
Also, about 5,228 birds died from the disease whereas 4,855 were killed, adding that 59 bags of feeds plus 81 crates of eggs were destroyed.

Nationally, he said more than GH¢44 million has been approved to be paid as compensation to poultry farmers affected by the bird flu outbreak in the country in 2021.

A total of 701,955 birds were killed in the 10 affected regions.

To forestall the frequent reoccurrence of the bird flu and to combat other animal diseases, Dr Abakah said the Ministry, through the Veterinary Services Department (VSD), was working to empower personnel with logistics to enforce the standardisation of all poultry farms.

That would ensure that all animal farms were certified and erring farmers sanctioned to sustain the livestock industry.

The Government had also finalised an Animal Health Import Bill for consideration and passage into law by Parliament to enhance effective regulation of the poultry and livestock industry.

Dr Abakah said the action plan of the Ministry had also been approved by Cabinet to address the institutional weaknesses of the VSD throughout the country.

In view of that the Government had given approval for the recruitment of 1,100 veterinary professionals for deployment across the country as part of measures to help prevent the recurrence of the bird flu.

Dr Abakah said financial clearance had been given for the initial recruitment of 550 veterinary professionals, while the remaining 550 would be engaged within a period of two years to strengthen the human resource capacity of the VSD.

Approval had been given for the procurement of vehicles, motorbikes, and a number of logistics to revamp VSD’s operations for effective surveillance and early detection of any animal disease and for rapid response and ccontrol.

That would also facilitate intensification of farm visits to ensure biosecurity, depopulation and disinfection to eliminate the high risk of infection.

Dr Owusu Afriyie Akoto, the Sector Minister, commended the Central Region and the Korean International Cooperation Agency (KOICA) Rice Value Chain Improvement project.

With the unrelenting commitment to the project, he was optimistic that the region would become the rice hub of Ghana in no time.

The project was launched in June 2021 and is being implemented in five districts in the region; Gomoa East, Assin Fosu, Assin North, Assin South, and Twifo Atti-Morkwa.

Mrs Justina Marigold Assan, the Central Regional Minister, expressed the Regional Coordinating Council’s resolve to support the project to improve the quality of life of farmers in the region by increasing rice production.
She said the project had a broader goal of increasing rice production and the value-chain.

The value chain-oriented project was formulated to take care of all activities along the chain from production through to post harvest management, processing and packaging, as well as marketing support.

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