Bird flu-hit farmers get Rs 81.08 million in compensation

Published On: July 11, 2019 08:19 AM NPT By: Nikeeta Gautam

KATHMANDU, July 11: Department of Livestock Services has distributed Rs 81.08 million as compensation to farmers of nine bird flu-hit districts.

Local officials had culled chickens and destroyed eggs and feed in Kathmandu, Bhaktapur, Lalitpur, Rasuwa, Makwanpur, Nawalparasi, Morang, Sunsari, and Kaski after bird flu was confirmed in these districts during March-June this year.

The department has released compensation to farmers of Lalitpur, Bhaktapur, Kathmandu and Makwanpur. “Our team has finished collecting local market rates of Rasuwa. We hope to complete the process of distributing compensation to farmers there by mid-August,” Mukul Upadhyaya, a senior veterinary officer with the Department of Livestock Services, told Republica.

The department distributed Rs 27.52 billion to farmers in Kathmandu, Rs 7.46 million in Bhaktapur and Rs 1.88 million in Lalitpur. Similarly, it distributed Rs 40.42 million to farmers of Makwanpur.

“Farmers in some places of Kathmandu and Bhaktapur are still to receive compensation. All farmers of Makwanpur and Lalitpur have been compensated for the loss of chickens and eggs due to bird flu,” he added. “A total of 54 farmers in Lalitpur, Kathmandu, Makwanpur and Bhaktapur have received compensation so far.”

Officials had culled 120,666 chickens and roosters, 21,182 kg of poultry feed and 50,766 eggs in the nine districts. 

Pramod Khatri, a poultry farmer of Kathmandu, said he received Rs 3.60 million as compensation from the department last week.

While the department is providing compensation to farmers of Kathmandu, Bhaktapur, Lalitpur, Makwanpur and Rasuwa districts, respective provincial governments will be compensating farmers of Kaski, Morang, Sunsari and Nawalparasi, according to the department.

Sushil Adhikari, a senior veterinary officer at Veterinary Hospital and Livestock Service Expert Center, Biratnagar, said the government of Province 1 has distributed Rs 1.45 million as compensation to a farmer. “We had culled 1,832 chickens and roosters, and destroyed 49 carton of eggs and 15 quintals of feed in his farm,” said Adhikari. 

Similarly, five farmers have received compensation in Kaski. According to Kedar Raj Pandey, a senior veterinary officer at Regional Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory, Pokhara, said the farmers received Rs 24,431 as compensation for loss of 77 roosters and chickens, 15 kg of feed and 85 eggs.

The government provides 75% of the market price of chickens, roosters, eggs and feed as compensation to farmers. The government agencies release compensation to farmers through designated banks.

“We had received Rs 66.14 million from the government to contain bird flu. Early estimation shows we need Rs 81.08 million to compensate all farmers for the loss,” Upadhyaya. “We need an additional Rs 14.94 million to provide compensation to all farmers.” The budget excludes estimated cost needed to compensate farmers of Rasuwa.

Bird flu was first detected in Nepal on January 16, 2009 in Jhapa district of eastern Nepal. Over the past years, bird flu has been detected in many places. However, the government is not allocating any resources for prevention of bird flu, according to Upadhyaya.

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