THE Agriculture and Rural Development Division of the Federal Capital Territory Administration has revealed that it has lost of over 1.5 million birds to avian influenza.
Acting Secretary, Agriculture and Rural Development of the FCT, Dr. Musa Aliyu, who made this known in Abuja, said in January, 2016, the agriculture secretariat was hit by an outbreak of the deadly avian flu influenza.
He said: “In January, 2016, the agriculture secretariat was hit by an outbreak of the deadly avian flu influenza. The disease later spread to many parts of the FCT, leading to the death of over 1.5 million birds.”
As part of the measures to prevent further attacks, he added that the administration carried out the vaccination of over 20,000 livestock and birds across the six area councils of the territory.
The administration had also earmarked an estimated 274,000 hectares of land for the development of agriculture to boost food production and reduce the prices of foodstuffs in the area.
Aliyu explained that the disease could have caused more damage if the FCT Minister, Mallam Muhammad Musa Bello had not intervened.
According to him: “The administration has started an emergency sensitisation campaign against avian flu to educate and enlighten farmers, residents and other stakeholders on the prevention of further outbreak.
“The workshops were held at the FCT’s six Area Councils for poultry farmers, farm workers, veterinary officials and other stakeholders. The veterinary officials of the secretariat have routinely visited the affected farms to ascertain the level of disease’s outbreak, while farms and markets were fumigated to guard against the spread.”
He urged farmers to take advantage of the 274,000 hectares of land provided by government to enable them to key into the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN)’s Anchor Borrowers’ Scheme.