Bird flu: Govt support for poultry farmers

Bird flu: Govt support for poultry farmers

Poultry farming has become an important business in the sense that when well organised, it can defy all dangers and rake in the needed profits unimaginable to farmers.

Many young people would want to engage in poultry farming especially after tertiary education but the fear is often of the risk associated with that kind of business. Indeed, farming can be undertaken by an individual or group of people who may come together in form of joint partnership.

It requires some financial capital which may not be obtained easily by individuals or even groups of people who agree to come together for that purpose. For this reason, they may have no choice but go to the bank to seek financial credit.

GOOD BUSINESS PLANS

Those who are fortunate or are able to provide good business plans receive the assistance they need from the banks. It may not be easy to get this form of assistance from the banks because of the risk associated with poultry farming.

During this business, there is always the need for the farmers to pay great attention to the birds from the beginning to the end. They’ll need to make sure the poultry is kept away from any kind of diseases and that the needed drugs are also provided for the birds to make them healthy and strong.

As a result of poultry farming, certain individuals have become very rich but the point must be made that it is not easy to make huge profits as a result of poultry farming as a business. What this means is that poultry farming is a good business venture but the farmers will always need to be very careful to ensure that they do not lose their birds.

GOOD SUPPLEMENT

The output from poultry is good in the sense that it supplements produce from crop farming. Crop farming provides foodstuffs which may be consumed by the population but we would need to combine this consumption with meat, fish or some other form of items like poultry. The benefits of poultry output are numerous. In the first place, it provides fresh chicken which is combined with foodstuffs and consumed by people. This ensures healthy growth of the body for both children and adults with the exception of those who are vegetarians. For non-vegetarians, poultry serves as a good source of protein for the body.

Apart from the poultry itself, another benefit comes in form of eggs. The eggs produced in this way serve as a source of business for many people in the country. The eggs serve as business items for many women who rely on such produce to fry or boil them for consumers. Other individuals also combine the eggs with the food they prepare and process them for consumption by people at the restaurant or other places where finished food is sold.

MEANS OF LIVELIHOOD

All this shows that the poultry business is very important and serves as a means of livelihood for a number of people. It is for this reason that the Government of Ghana is doing all it can to protect poultry farmers in the country and where necessary, support them with financial returns.

In spite of all this, the poultry business can be very risky in the sense that poultry farmers can easily lose their capital when the birds become attacked by Bird’s Flu or some other disease. This explains why poultry farmers are always very close to the health experts who have been trained in a professional manner to provide assistance to them as and when the need arises. It is for this reason that veterinary doctors are ever available and made ready to come to the assistance of our poultry farmers.

BIRD FLU OUTBREAK

A few months back, Ghana began to experience Bird Flu and other diseases in some parts of the country. Poultry farms in the Greater Accra Region as well as Ashanti and other places became affected but veterinary doctors went to their aid to bring the situation under control. However, great losses were made due to the slaughter of the birds that were suffering from the disease.

In view of this development, the government was forced to make money available to support the poultry farmers who lost their birds as a result of the infection of the disease on their farms. Those who had the birds destroyed were given certificates as proof. Government has already made available GH¢40 million to support the farmers who experienced losses. Out of the GH¢40 million promised, about GH¢21 million is now available for distribution to poultry farmers who can provide evidence of certificates for the destruction of their birds when they contracted diseases.

SALE OF HEALTHY BIRDS

We must always make sure that animals from the poultry farms are strong and healthy because if we are able to sell the healthy birds to consumers, we are likely to make far more money than would be the case when we are compensated by government. Half a loaf is better than none so the GH¢40 million provided by government as compensation would fulfil a good purpose. It will encourage our farmers to keep working hard despite the risk involved.

We commend government for this support especially at this time when we are now recovering from COVID-19 amid economic difficulties that have characterised many business transactions in the country.

Diseases that affect our poultry keep coming in to affect the poultry business and when we deal with them, they go away only to come back again at some time. The poultry farmers and the poultry health experts together with government must collaborate to work hard to ensure that such diseases are brought under total control and where possible prevented from affecting the poultry farms. This is what will help the poultry farming business to flourish well in this country.

Contact email/whatsApp address of author:

Pradmat2013@gmail.com (0553318911)

By Dr Kofi Amponsah-Bediako

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