A group calling itself the Concerned Poultry Farmers within the Greater Accra Region, has warned that their members may sell unwholesome chicken to the public if the government continues to default in the payment of compensations owed them.
According to the farmers, who number about 35, government has failed to pay them an amount of 1.8 million Ghana cedis as compensation for the destruction of some 63 thousand live birds, which were infected with the deadly avian influenza flu between 2015 and 2016.
The visibly frustrated and angry farmers, noted that if steps are not taken to address the issues of compensation payment on schedule, they will be left with no choice than to sell flu infected chickens to the unsuspecting public anytime there is an outbreak.
Addressing the media in Tema, the Team Lead, Lawrence Agorsor, noted that most of them have had to close down their farms, and lay off workers since they are unable to pay their bills.
“Ever since our birds were destroyed for contracting the deadly avian influenza, we have not received a dime from government as compensation, and this is highly affecting us, as our creditors are all over us.
He said prior to the destruction, authorities had made them sign some documents, and also given them a certificate of destruction, which was to enable them receive some compensation from government, but Mr. Agorsor said not a single farmer has since received any money from government.
He said the then NDC administration under whose tenure the destruction was made, promised to pay them last year November, but nothing was heard until their exit.
He added that, when the affected farmers again followed up at the Ministry of Agriculture earlier this year, they were told by the chief director of the Ministry that their money has been used for a different purpose, as he urged them to wait until another money is released.
Mr. Agorsor said they are being chased all over by their creditors, and they can no longer bare the pressure.
Some of the farmers who spoke to Citi News noted that, they will have no choice than to keep to themselves any future outbreak, and rather prepare the chicken for the market to be sold to the public.
“We are aware that the avian influenza is deadly, and humans can even contract such diseases if they fail to boil their meat well, but we would be left with no option than to dress affected birds for the market.
Instead of reporting and getting our birds destroyed and not receive any compensation, we would rather sell them off to the public” they threatened.
Some of the farmers said “we have laid off all our workers and have resorted to family and friends to help us start all over again. Christmas is almost here, and this is our bumper season, yet we have no money to buy boilers to bounce back.”
They called on government to as a matter of urgency, come to their aid to relieve them of their suffering.