Australia helps compensate Indonesian farmers

26-06-2006 | |
Australia helps compensate Indonesian farmers

The Australian government has established an A$10 million (US$7.32 million) compensation scheme to assist Indonesian poultry farmers hit by bird flu.

The Australian government believes that a lack of such a compensation scheme is hindering the efforts to fight bird flu in Indonesia.

Australian Health Minister Tony Abbott said: “One of the problems in Indonesia is that there is not a well-developed compensation system for farmers who have bird flu in their poultry flocks. You can’t really get an effective reporting system in countries like these unless you have an effective compensation system.”

Indonesia has allocated only 30 billion rupiah (US$3.19 million) for compensating farmers. For each destroyed chicken, a farmer gets R10,000 (US$1.06), whereas the birds fetch R15,000 to R30,000 at market.

Indonesia has averaged one human bird flu death every 2.5 days in May. The problem was compounded by the earthquake last month forcing people to take shelter in poultry sheds that still contained feathers and chicken remains.

Indonesia is expected to take over from Vietnam as the country with the maximum number of bird flu deaths shortly. Vietnam has officially recorded 42 deaths from the disease, while Indonesia is at 39.