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The Minister for Agriculture, Afriyie Akoto has said 1,100 veterinary officers will be recruited as part of efforts to increase the existing staff strength of the Veterinary Services Directorate in the country.
The Minister disclosed this on the floor of Parliament on Thursday, 11 November 2021.
According to the Minister, the containment of the bird flu disease in the country has been challenging despite the measures put in place by government.
He noted that to ensure public safety during the recent outbreak of the H5N1, citizens were advised to report to the appropriate authority any unusual deaths in domestic, commercial poultry and wild birds, avoid at all cost the handling of dead birds with bare hands and consume well-cooked poultry meat and poultry products.
The Minister further noted however that, “in spite of these measures, the containment of the Bird Flu has been challenging due to limited budget and inadequate veterinary professionals in the Ministry. As a result, cabinet has approved a proposal by the Ministry to recruit 1,100 veterinary officers through a phase approach within 3years.
“In the year 2021, 2022, the approval provides for the recruitment of 550 various categories of veterinary professionals, representing half of the total number to augment the existing staff strength of the veterinary services directorate.”
The Minister also indicated that farmers affected by the recent spread of the bird flu will be compensated.
“The Ministry for Food and Agriculture has also secured Cabinet approval for emergency funds to cover compensation of affected farmers, procurement of vehicles and motorbikes, logistics, laboratory equipment, training of staff and stakeholder sensitisation, across the country and other operational activities.”
He added that the budget was informed by “a situational report on the spread of the disease at the end of September 2021.”
With the recent outbreak of the H5N1 in the country, 261,137 had been destroyed across the country and 7 regions had been affected as of September 2021 with a potential to further spread to other parts of the country.
Latest reports however indicate that 9 regions have now been affected.