Nigeria Agricultural Insurance Corporation (NAIC) has compensated farmers who suffered losses as a result of destruction of their livestock caused by Marek Disease, a viral infection common with birds.
Grand Cereals & Oil Mills Limited (GCOML), a subsidiary of UAC of Nigeria Plc and makers of Vital Feeds, Nigeriaâ€™s foremost animal feeds for livestock, was also compenmsated along with the farmers.
The compensation was proportionalÂ to the number of birds lost to the dreadful disease. The farms affected by the disease and duly compensated include Janesh Farm situated at Akwanga, Nassarawa State ; Anamonye Farms Ltd; and Planglan Poultry Farm.
Speaking during the presentation ceremony which took place recently at Janesh Farm, Akwanga, Austin Dalyop, Marketing Manager, GCOML stated that the challenge militating against poultry farming in Nigeria and the World over is the emergence of new animal disease and the re-emergence of old ones.
According to Dalyop several farmers have lost their means of livelihood to some of these diseases; a case in point he said is the bird flu saga of 2006 that wiped out over 30 per cent of the bird population in the country.
He said the Marek disease usually affects birds two to five months old and causes lymphoid tumors with symptoms varying according to the position of the tumor. He explained that once contracted, the nerves of the birds are affected and spastic paralysis occurs either in the legs, wings, or neck. The Marek virus remains infective for many months in litter or dry feathers. He said in order to forestall this unpredictability and reduce the losses of farmers, Grand Cereals & Oil Mill Limited, in conjunction with Nigeria Agricultural Insurance Corporation (NAIC) now insures poultry farmers free of charge.
â€œIn protecting the farm and business of our loyal customers who use Vital Feeds, GCOML insured their farms so that when mortalities do happen, the farm will be compensated. The insurance scheme is at no cost to the farmers as GCOML pays the premium.â€
Mrs. Barki Sameel, Farm Manager, Janesh Farm received a cheque of N1, 022,407.00 as compensation for the loss of 1,300 birds. Rev. Stephen Okolie of Anamonye Farms Ltd., was presented with a cheque of N259,689.60 for 300 birds while Mrs. Josephine Shike, owner of PlanglanPoultry Farm who suffered a loss of 200 birds received N158,961.00.
Expressing her gratitude for the initiative, Mrs. Barki Sameel of Janesh Farm said â€œI was devastated when the birds started dying and because of the magnitude, I feared the claims will not be paid; but I was surprised when I saw the credit alert. I have purchased new birds now. GCOML
Insurance scheme is real. The personnel are always ready to assist with prompt response time.â€ In his speech at the event, Emmanuel Shodipe, Brand Manager, Feeds, GCOML said the company is committed to the success of poultry and fish farmers in the country. He said Vital Feeds contains chemical that help reduces microbial infection in birds. The birds which are catered for with Vital
Feeds enjoy a health benefit in that Vital Feeds comes in pellet which requires steam i.e. by passing the raw materials through steam, the microbial load is reduced unlike most feed brand that comes in mash and thus help the health status of the birds.â€ He emphasized.