Nigeria feels the effects of bird flu
The Nigerian government has been advised to make strict laws to
curtail the importation of birds with avian flu into the country, as poultry
farmers complain that a lack of compensation is sending them out of
Chief Peter Onuorah, chairman of the Committee on
Agriculture of the Anambra State House of Assembly, said laws punishing
those responsible for importing AI-affect birds into the country could save the
nation's livestock from extinction.
Meanwhile, poultry farmers in
Nigeria whose 300,000 birds were culled this year following an outbreak of the
deadly strain of H5N1 avian
say they could lose their farms to creditors over bank loan
Around 64 of 160 farmers who lost their poultry to the
avian flu outbreak in Kano City were under pressure from banks to pay back loans
or have their farms auctioned to enable banks to recover loans.
complained they had still not been paid the 250 naira (US$2) per bird
compensation promised by the Nigerian government.
government has not paid 64 farmers the paltry 250 naira per bird compensation
and the farmers are being pestered by their creditors, particularly banks, to
either pay their loans or have their farms auctioned," said Auwalu Haruna,
secretary of Poultry farmers Association in Kano.
"Most of the
farmers affected by the flu took loans from banks. Now that they have lost all
their investment to avian flu and the government has not paid them the promised
compensation that we feel is grossly inadequate, they are unable to pay back the
loans on time," he said.
"If the banks sell off these farms, the
poultry industry in Kano will be weakened further and that may even lead to its
subsequent collapse," Haruna continued.
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