Govt plans insurance for poultry farmers
The government will introduce insurance to poultry farmers to safeguard them against losses arising from the virus-related disease such as bird-flu, said the fisheries and livestock minister.
“We will soon initiate the poultry insurance plan following the crop insurance model,” said Abdul Latif Biswas. “We will take opinions from the stakeholders by the next month,” the minister added.
The minister spoke at the closing ceremony of the International Poultry Show and Seminar organised by the World's Poultry Science Association (WPSA) at Bangabandhu International Conference Centre yesterday.
The minister also said the government will send seven ideal poultry farmers abroad to gather knowledge on bio-security in farms.
The government decision came in the wake of a recent outbreak of bird-flu that caused a huge loss to the booming poultry sector, said the minister.
One farmer from each division -- Dhaka, Chittagong, Rajshahi, Khulna, Barisal, Sylhet and Rangpur -- will be sent abroad by the year end, he added.
“They will get first-hand knowledge on how foreign organisations maintain bio-security in their farms," said Biswas.
Slating the plea of some quarters to ban the import of chicks and eggs, the minister said: "Bird-flu is not occurring due to the import of chicks and eggs. If it was so, most of the outbreaks would have occurred in the border areas."
“But, we see most of the outbreaks have occurred in the central part of the country, so it's our fault,” he observed.
The minister said, “Our unconsciousness is the main reason for the spreading of virus-related diseases. The distances between the farms are little, so the disease can easily spread to other farms.”
Highlighting contribution of the poultry sector to the economy, he said, "The government is ready to give incentives to promote private sector initiatives in the poultry industry. A new law has also been framed."
He also said the government will disburse loans to the small and medium poultry farmers after arranging livestock service week at upazila level this year.
Speaking as a special guest, Ujjal Bikash Dutta, secretary of fisheries and livestock, said the country is facing a huge animal protein shortage. “For example, one should eat 120 grams of meat each day to get ideal protein, whereas we get only 35 gram. One should also eat 104 eggs annually,” he said.
“We have a plan to recruit an additional 19,000 workforce to take the services of the livestock department to the union level and for this we have already sent a proposal to the prime minister.”
After the closing ceremony, WPSA awarded three organisations for best stalls. These are Arif's Bangladesh Ltd, Renata Animal Health Ltd, and Aftab Bahumukhi Farms Ltd.
Poultry feed, hatchery items, production and medical equipment and marketing-related items were put on display at the exhibition. Farm owners and specialists from 23 countries took part in 246 stalls at the exhibition, which was inaugurated by Agriculture Minister Matia Chowdhury on Mar 25.
WPSA has been organising the poultry fair since 1999, and the eighth edition of the international poultry show will be held in 2013.