The Ministry of Agriculture in Ogun has trained operators of Live Bird Markets (LBM) and poultry value chain actors on how to safeguard the health of people.
Dr Adeola Odedina, the Commissioner for Agriculture, said that the training conducted by the Veterinary Services Department in the ministry was to promote Biosecurity and Disease Reporting.
Odedina said the training became imperative to ensure that bird marketers carry out their trading activities in a healthiest manner.
He said that as a border state, there was need for the stakeholders to guide against dumping of unhygienic animals in the environment.
“I want to assure you that the state government will continue to do the needful in ensuring that diseases in animals, especially those that have potential to infect humans, are nip in the bud.
“This is because we share boundaries with the neighbouring West African countries; it is important that we carry stakeholders along in this renewed drive.
“Our regular engagement with LBM disinfection and decontamination activities, especially during festive periods, has helped in checking Avian Influenza spread.
“This has become a standard for effective control and eradication of the disease as recognised by the Food and Agricultural Organisation,” Odedina said.
The commissioner also said that the ministry was committed to working with the poultry operators to promote effective standard of biosecurity.
He said that the ministry would create a network for disease reporting and surveillance to further build healthy poultry population and ensure profitability in the poultry value chain.
Odedina said that the state had engaged stakeholders through an all-inclusive agricultural opportunity with a new focus to benefit all.
“We have a new focus on poultry in Ogun, there is the Anchor Borrowers Programme for graduates and unemployed youths.
“Also, we have Noiler programme for small holder farmers where we will support farmers with 50 birds and with inputs as well as the Mother Hen project,” he said.
In a lecture, Dr Tade Olanrewaju, Deputy Director, Veterinary Services Department, said that birds markets should be at least, 200 metres away from residential areas.
Olanrewaju, in the lecture entitled: “Biosecurity Guidelines for Live Bird Marketers”, advised the trainees to ensure cleanliness and regular disinfection of the markets and cages to avoid infections and diseases.
He said that poultry farmers should try and understand the value chains related to their markets.
According to him, restrictions must be placed on the entry of poultry where diseases like zoonotic influenza viruses are on rampage, adding that dead birds must be properly disposed.
He said that dead birds must be properly disposed, and ensure that markets were of strong biosecurity standards and must be certified by veterinary doctors or public health operators.
Also, Mr Ejide Balogun, one of the participants, appreciated the state government for the training, saying that it had further exposed them to see themselves as agricultural stakeholders.
Balogun pledged that the trainees would imbibe hygienic poultry practice and also educate other members in the business. (NAN)