Monday, October 08, 2012

Govt moves to clean up fowl stench

In an effort to deal with the stench and environmental risks from the solid wastes of the poultry sector, Government will embark on a project to clean up and beautify the industry, says Food Production Minister Devant Maharaj. Maharaj, speaking at a meeting with members of the poultry sector at Marriott Hotel, Invaders Bay, said that the project will approach the Green Fund and other United Nations agencies for financial and technical support. The Food Production Ministry, he said, through the Agricultural Development Bank and in collaboration with the Ministry of the Environment and Water Resources, is conceptualising "Greening of the Poultry Sector". Maharaj said a comprehensive environmental scan of the sector will be completed to determine the number and location of poultry farms and pluck shops, the number of chickens raised at each farm annually, the total waste produced, an analysis of the poultry litter and where it is spread and a soil analysis of areas where poultry litter is spread. A clean development mechanism project will be developed, he said, that will treat with the solid waste emitted by the poultry sector. Additionally, trees will be planted and ventilation systems will be modernised to treat with potential air pollution. The poultry industry, said Maharaj, has seen phenomenal growth worldwide and in this country the poultry sector accounts for more than 50 per cent of agriculture's contribution to GDP. Maharaj said over the past decades with the sector's growth there is far more waste that can be managed by land disposal, resulting in environmental problems. "As you may know, poultry facilities are a source of odour and attract flies, rodents and other pests that create local nuisances and carry disease. Odour emissions from poultry farms adversely affect the life of people living in the vicinity. Odour associated with poultry operations comes from fresh and decomposing waste products such as manure, carcasses, feathers and bedding litter," he said. On-farm odour, he added, is mainly emitted from poultry buildings, manure and storage facilities. "Odour from animal feeding operations is not caused by a single compound, but is rather the result of a large number of contributing compounds, including ammonia, volatile organic compounds, and hydrogen sulphide," said Maharaj. "Although generally not causing any public health concern, odours can represent a strong local problem that is frequently reported by farms' neighbours as the most disturbing environmental impact," the minister added.

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