Nepal investment company Nimbus Holdings has formed a bird flu relief fund that it hopes will assist the country's farmers in mitigating the risk of avian influenza by compensating them for losses due to the disease, as well as reducing the public health risk. The company also aims to help government policy triple per-capita consumption and availability of chicken and eggs in the next 15 years by encouraging commercialization of the domestic poultry sector through the Rs 7.5 million (US$86,193) fund.
The fund will compensate poultry farmers within seven days of a government bird flu declaration, as long as they are registered with Nimbus and use Shakti animal feed. The campaign, named Shakti Sahayogi Haatharu, will help protect farmers and encourage them to report avian influenza as soon as possible, which will help reduce the risk to public health, said Nimbus Managing Director Anand Bagaria. Nimbus plans to collaborate with insurance companies and other domestic and international agencies to safeguard the poultry business in the future, said Bagaria, which will help stop farmers abandoning the business.
The current average per-capita consumption of poultry meat and eggs in Nepal is roughly nine kilograms of chicken and 120 eggs. The poultry policy has envisaged strategies including prioritizing the poultry sector for government supported programs so as to encourage massive commercialization of the poultry sector, which already has an investment of over Rs 30 billion (US$344.8 million).