By Obinna Ogbonnaya, Abakaliki
The federal government is to compensate Ebonyi State poultry farmers affected by the December 2016 Avian Influenza attack on poultry farms in the state, from July 5.
The state’s commissioner for Agriculture and Natural Resources, Mr Uchenna Orji, disclosed this yesterday in Abakaliki during a training programme for poultry farmers in the state on ways of preventing and handling incidences of the disease.
According to Orji, a Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development team would arrive the state on July 5, to conduct necessary assessment and other procedures before the compensation.
“20 poultry farmers would benefit from the compensation but they must be registered with my ministry and fulfill all obligations required of them in the conduct of poultry activities.
“The effect of the avian influenza attack on poultry farms was devastating.
“This training is part of the enlightenment programmes for farmers on the disease as directed by the federal and state governments,” he said.
The commissioner noted that the state government planned to establish 100 poultry farm clusters in each of the 13 local government areas (LGA) of the state, to enhance poultry farming.
“The initiative will empower 100 farmers in each of the councils to produce broilers as the market for their produce has already being provided by the state government.
“The government will through its processing plant, off-take and process their poultry produce, which would enable them to readily produce, market their produce and go back to business.
“The training programme is also, one of the capacity building mechanisms to prepare poultry farmers for the initiative as we will collate your names, assess your performances and recommend successful farmers as beneficiaries,” he said.
The director of Veterinary Services in the state’s Ministry of Agriculture, Mr. Ibiam Okoro, noted that the federal and state governments directed state ministries of agriculture through their veterinary departments, to take measures to prevent and contain avian influenza.