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18.06.2006 Health

MOFA urges Ghanaians to consume poultry products

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Akyem Oda, June 17, GNA - The Ministry of Food And Agriculture (MOFA) on Friday assured Ghanaians that there was no reported case of Bird Flu/Avian influenza outbreak in the country, therefore, they should patronize poultry products.

Nii Tackie-Otoo, Birim South District Director of Agriculture who gave the assurance when addressing Birim South District Assembly, said there were stringent quarantine measures instituted at the country's entry points. He said it had been established that even when a bird was infected with the virus, cooking the chicken at 70 degrees Celsius for a minute would destroy the virus.

Nii Tackie-Otoo therefore, urged the assembly members to carry the message to their communities for consumers to start patronizing poultry products to save the poultry industry from collapse. He noted that the bird flu scare was seriously affecting employment as farm hands were being laid off while those who sold eggs and poultry were having low sales. Nii Tackie-Otoo said direct effect of the bird flu scare was the current low prices being offered for maize this year since poultry farmers who utilised about 60 per cent of the total maize produced were being kicked out of business. He announced that MOFA would promote small-scale borehole irrigation systems in the district not only for individuals but groups and appealed to the assembly members to educate the people on the project.

Nii Tackie-Otoo called on farmers who were assisted with maize and fertilizers during the last minor season, to pay back immediately or would be prosecuted. He said out of about 132 million cedis granted as loans only 13.9 million cedis had been retrieved.

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