Bird Flu: PAN seeks compensation for farmers
The Poultry Association of Nigeria (PAN) has appealed to the Federal Government to urgently compensate poultry farmers whose farms were ravaged by the outbreak of avian influenza, popularly known as bird flu.
They insisted that the compensation is necessary for the farmers, to alleviate their sufferings and save the poultry industry from imminent collapse.
The Southwest Chairman of PAN, Gideon Oluleye, made the appeal at the 10th edition of Nigeria poultry show, held in Abeokuta, with the theme: “Sustaining the Nigerian poultry industry amidst global economic crisis,” which attracted poultry farmers across the country and the Commissioners of Agriculture from the Southwest states – Lagos, Ondo, Osun, Ekiti, Ogun and Oyo.
Lamenting the huge losses recorded by farmers during the outbreak, Oluleye said, hundreds of farmers lost their means of livelihood while several millions of naira were also lost.
Oluleye also called on the Federal Government, through the Ministry of Agriculture and the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to make more funds available for farmers to help them grow their businesses and also contribute to the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of the country.
Said he, “The poultry industry is a subsector of the Nigerian economy that provides direct and indirect employment to over 25 million people. As a result of this, we are urging the Nigeria government through the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and other levels of government and the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), to give more funding to the sector, as the sector can generate huge employment opportunities for the jobless youths and earn foreign exchange for the country.
“Other reasons why government must fund this sector the more are: the current built-in-inflation within the economy that has pushed up the cost of inputs, climate change, dwindling economy, internal security and Ukraine-Russian war, which has further taken its toll on the poultry subsector of the country.
“All levels of government and the CBN should therefore budget more funding to the sector and subsidise the major inputs – maize and soya much more than they have been doing before and grant more loan on long term to farmers in order to protect the sector from imminent collapse.”
In his speech, the commissioner for Agriculture in Ogun State, Dr. Samson Adeola Odedina charged the farmers to take advantage of the numerous opportunities and support provided by the government to boost their businesses.
Odedina also advised the farmers to engage in backward integration by planting maize and soya to address the acute shortage of grains and other feed ingredients.