Bird flu: 130 poultry farmers in Plateau cry out over non-payment of compensation
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August 10, 2016 ( Post 1 )
Poultry farmers in Plateau State on Wednesday cried out over the non-payment of compensation, more than one year after the destruction of their birds following the resurgence of avian influenza.
This was disclosed by the State Chairman, Poultry Association of Nigeria (PAN), Mr John Dasar, in a chat with journalists in Jos. He said 130 affected farmers were yet to be compensated.
“Of the affected farmers, 64 were hit in 2016, while the remaining 66 were those affected since 2015,” he explained.
Dasar said the situation has affected the economy of the state with egg supply gradually going down while many of the affected farmers were already out of business.
”The non-compensation has indeed hurt many farmers; we have made frantic effort as an association and met with Minister of Agriculture, who promised to pay immediately the 2016 budget is signed, but there is nothing yet.
According to him, ”The Poultry industry alone contributes more than N1.6 trillion to the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of this country; neglecting it is a disaster.
”Again, considering the value chain involved in poultry business, this agriculture sub-sector remains one of the major employers of labour in Nigeria.
”For this huge number of farmers to be out of business for this long period and government has not done anything to ameliorate their lose, poses a serious danger to the economy,” he observed.
“You can make your checks; a large number of farms are closed down and thousands of youths, who hitherto were engaged as farm attendants, are now on the streets,” he lamented.
He further explained that the taxes that would have accrued to government coffers had gone down the drain as most farmers were now idle.
The Chairman further lamented the plight of the affected farmers, and described it as a total “negation” of the present administration’s pledge of making agriculture a main source of its revenue.
He urged government to fast-track the process and ensure that the farmers were adequately compensated to enable them bounce back to business.
”We will not be tired of pleading with our government on this issue because poultry farming is the major source of livelihood for most people on the Plateau.
”Almost every civil servant is a poultry farmer. It has become a second means of income, especially as most state governments are unable to pay salaries,” he said.
He called on the farmers to exercise patience, and promised that the association would do all within its powers to ensure justice.
Dasar also warned farmers against the sale of their birds to desperate marketers in the event of an outbreak, noting that such situation could worsen the spread of bird flu and destroy poultry business in the country.
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