Parliament has approved an amount of GHc2 million as compensation package for farmers whose birds have been affected by the outbreak of Bird Flu.
This was after the Committee on Food, Agriculture and Cocoa Affairs, presented its report to the House for consideration.
“The committee noted that a provision of GHc2,000,610 has been made as compensation to farmers whose farms may be destroyed as part of the measures to control the outbreak. The amount represents estimated compensation for about 75,000 birds and other poultry products. The figure of 75,000 represents 0.0125% of the total poultry population of about 60,000,000.”
The committee also acknowledged that “the current figure of culled birds of 33,000 recorded in the Greater Accra and Volta Regions is likely to increase once the compensation package comes into effect and farmers start reporting early signs of the disease to the Ministry.”
The Committee further explained to Parliament that per the information they picked up, suggests that “payment of compensation during the last outbreak helped in controlling that outbreak. The committee therefore is of the view that payment of the compensation would be in the right direction.”
The Committee further explained that “the impact of the outbreak is not just limited to the expected losses to farmers in terms of their investment, but more importantly, the potential loss of human lives from the transmission of the disease to humans.”
Meanwhile, the Minority in Parliament were angered with a decision by the Veterinary Service Department to buy 30 new vehicles to fight the outbreak of the bird flu in Ghana.
The Minority is of the view that it is unwise to consider such an option at this critical moment. Speaking on the floor of Parliament on Thursday, the Minority Spokesperson on Finance and Member of Parliament (MP) for Old Tafo, Dr. Anthony Akoto Osei said some civil servants want to benefit from the current emergency.
He questioned how come the Veterinary Service Department suddenly wants to buy 30 new cars to deal with the outbreak of the disease while they lack basic logistics and drugs to combat the bird flu.
“The propensity of people to find additional money for non-emergency is irritating. The question I want to ask is that currently, how many cars do they have? But because they have an emergency, they are proposing to buy 30 new cars at the cost of GHC 30 million,” he fumed.
However, the Committee on Food, Agriculture and Cocoa Affairs reduced the number of vehicles to twelve (12) while recommending that “the Veterinary Officers should “collaborate with other MDAs to mobilise some vehicles to support the campaign.”