FG May Suspend Payment Of Compensation To Poultry Farmers | Independent Newspapers Limited
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FG May Suspend Payment Of Compensation To Poultry Farmers

Posted: Oct 2, 2015 at 12:28 am   /   by   /   comments (0)

Stories by Seyi Taiwo-Oguntuase


The Federal Government has warned that it may suspend the payment of compensation to poultry farmers whose farms were infected by Avian Influenza (AI) pending when substantial progress on bio-security and other containment measures are put in place by the Poultry Association of Nigeria (PAN) and state veterinary services.

Permanent Secretary, Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, Arc. Sonny Echono, disclosed this on Wednesday at a meeting he held with stakeholders in the poultry industry.

Echono stated that about N380 million had already been paid to about 138 farmers, while N643 million has been totally committed as compensation to 246 poultry farmers. He said the sum of N476 million is still required for the payment of compensation to the remaining 250 poultry farmers.

The Permanent Secretary said the Federal Government has noted with concern the un-encouraging disposition of the Poultry Associations in the states in assisting the state officials in all the efforts aimed at curtailing the spread of the disease. He said such co-operation was needed in the creation of adequate sensitisation and awareness among the poultry farmers.

He emphasised the need for sensitisation on the control of Avian Influenza in birds, proper adherence to on-farm bio-security, registration of farms with State Directorate of Veterinary Services, non-transportation of birds indiscriminately without the authorization of the state veterinary services.

He maintained that poultry farmers must adhere to government policy of non-vaccination against the disease and enforcing the restocking policy on affected farms.

Speaking further he said, his ministry in collaboration with USAID and Food and Agricultural Organisation (FAO) had conducted series of trainings and capacity building workshops on Avian Influenza for federal, state and local government officials, state extension services workers, private veterinarians, surveillance agents as well as poultry farmers and Poultry Association of Nigeria (PAN) officials.

Echono further solicited the support of stakeholders in the renewed efforts aimed at controlling the spread of the Avian Influenza virus, saying the role played by each stakeholder in the poultry industry in controlling the disease becomes very critical to the overall success in the containment effort.

He therefore called for an effective and efficient State Veterinary Service and enforcement of mandatory regulatory functions to contain bird flu outbreak and other zoonotic disease in Nigeria.

He also attributed the new outbreaks between July and September, 2015 in Lagos, Oyo, Ogun, Enugu, Abia, Rivers and FCT to non-compliance to bio-security in farms, disregard to public policy on the siting of poultry farms and other enforcement protocols which he said were expected to be implemented by the state veterinary services.

He unfolded the plan of his ministry to come up with modalities that will ensure that the burden of payment is borne by the federal, state and local government areas and the farmer.

He advised poultry farmers to safeguard their investment through the adoption of insurance policy as a way forward since Federal Government now sees agriculture as a business.