By Gabriel Ewepu
The Federal Government, yesterday, confirmed fresh out-break of H5N1 Avian Influenza Virus, also known as bird flu, in four more states.
This came as government has also set aside over N145 million to compensate 39 farmers in 11 states who lost their birds to the flu.
Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Dr. Akinwumi Adesina, disclosed this at a meeting with Commissioners of Agriculture of the 36 states of the federation in Abuja.
Adesina said Oyo, Jigawa, Gombe and Imo states were the newly infected places and that brought the number of states affected to 11.
According to the minister, the number of birds exposed to the flu had risen to 232, 385, with 51, 444 mortalities recorded.
He said Kano State had the highest exposure rate of 136,905 birds, with 17, 987 mortality rate, followed by Lagos State with 38, 845 and 4, 732 mortality rate.
However, he said the Federal Government would pay a compensation of N145.145m to 39 farmers in the 11 affected states, including Kano, Lagos, Ogun, Rivers, Delta, Edo, Plateau, Gombe, Imo, Oyo, and Jigawa.
The minister said the compensation was to ensure that farmers remain in business.
He said: “We will do everything to ensure that we protect our poultry industry from this particular situation.
“So I want to announce here, that effective from today (Wednesday), the compensation of a total amount of N145. 145 million will be paid to 39 affected farmers across the 11 states. And those 11 states are Kano, Lagos, Ogun, Rivers, Delta, Edo, Plateau, Gombe, Imo, Oyo, and Jigawa state.
“The entire N145.145m will be paid out to the farms and we have all the lists of the farms and we have actually collected all the information and this amount will cover these farms for which we have done depopulation.”