NIGERIA - The federal government has voted to offer 600 million naira (NGN) to compensate the owners of poultry farms hit by avian influenza.
Relief may be on the way for farmers whose farms were ravaged by the bird flu disease in the country, as the Federal Government has set aside NGN600 million (around US$3 million) to compensate them, reports The Guardian of Nigeria.
So far, about 300 farmers have been identified to have been affected in 18 states of the federation, where the disease has manifested.
Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Dr Akinwumi Adesina, made these known at a function at Tahir Guest Palace Hotel in Kano on 16 March during a 'Training-of-Trainers on Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza (HPAI) Workshop' organised by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) and the Federal Government.
Dr Adesina, who was represented by a director in the ministry, Dr AbdulGaniu Abubakar, further stated that 255 farms have so far been detected to have been affected by the disease.
He said: “One million birds have been depopulated. Our record shows us that out of the 255 farms that were affected, Kano has the largest share, among the 18 states, with 158 farms affected.”
As a result, he urged the Kano State Government to be up and doing in combating the disease.
“We directed our staff at the ministry to work hand in hand with the Kano state government in controlling the menace,” the minister’s representative said.
He added that the distribution of the disease in Kano was more than 50 per cent evident in 19 local governments.
Dr Abubakar added: “That is why we are calling on all stakeholders at all levels to help in curbing the problem. We need to have enough manpower in the fight against the disease that is part of the reasons we are organizing this programme today. With the harmattan season, now the spread of the disease is alarming.
Harmattan is a cold-dry and dusty trade wind that affects part of West Africa at this time of year.
Earlier, The Guardian report continues, the representative of USAID, Dr Harvey Schartup, said: “The bird flu outbreak in Nigeria and its effect on the health of Nigerians, the economy and the livelihood of farmers are the focus of a series four-day workshops that began in Kano.
“Over 400 participants from the federal ministries of agriculture and health and the poultry sector are being trained in the control of avian influenza. The US Agency for International Development (USAID) supported the workshops.”
Dr Schartup explained that the disease is a viral one, largely infecting birds, whereas humans are rarely infected.
He said: “In 2007, there was one human case in Nigeria. However, there is no known human case so far in the current outbreak. Globally, the majority of human cases of infection have been associated with contact with infected live or dead poultry. Controlling the disease in poultry is the first step in decreasing risks to humans.”
A representative of the Kano State Commissioner for Health, Dr. Shehu Bawa (director of Veterinary Services), stated that when the disease broke out in 2006, the state government thought it was milder than what is happening now, The Guardian report adds.
You can visit the Avian Flu page by clicking here.
ThePoultrySite News Desk