The Western Region’s poultry farmers are concerned that the government is taking too long to pay them the compensation they are owed after the bird flu outbreak last year devastated their birds and other agricultural products.
In an interview with the Ghana News Agency, Ambassador Kofi Dossah, the head of the Effia Kwesimintsim Poultry Farmers Association, said the government had promised to pay farmers GHC789,565 as compensation for the loss of their birds, eggs, and feeds due to the bird flu outbreak last year.
He said that during the flu epidemic last year, poultry producers voluntarily requested that the regional veterinary office evaluate their birds, eggs, and feed to help reduce the spread of the disease.
He said that an emergency response team made up of representatives from the regional disaster management organisation, the regional department of agriculture, the regional veterinary officer, the fire service, and led by the Western Regional Minister killed animals that tested positive following the inspection.
More than 25,776 birds, 1,286 boxes of eggs, and 161 sacks of feed were reportedly killed during the exercise, according to Ambassador Dossah.
He said that in order to properly compensate the impacted farmers, the Response Team counted the amount of poultry farm output that had been lost.
He said that the farmers’ efforts to receive compensation from the government had been ineffective.
When it comes to public health issues, Ambassador Dossah continued, “If the government does not pay what they are supposed to give us, we may not voluntarily ask for our birds, eggs, and feeds to be destroyed in the event of another outbreak of bird flu.”
If the debts are not paid, he claimed that no farmer would voluntarily agree to participate in such an experiment because they would not want to lose the money they had put into their enterprises.
Therefore, he urged the government to take action to keep its pledge through the Ministry of Food and Agriculture.
He emphasised the need for government assistance, saying some of the farmers whose crops were damaged were struggling to maintain their companies.