The study was carried out to evaluate the economic effect of the 2015 HPAI outbreak on poultry farmers in Rivers State, Nigeria. 44 farmers (farms) across three LGAs viz. Obio/Akpor (81.8%), Ikwerre (11.4%) and Port Harcourt City (6.8%) were affected, 23 (52.3%) of them being women and 21 (47.7%) men. The number of layers, broilers, turkeys and cockerels culled and compensated were 87,485 (₦47,808,250.00), 8,478 (₦3,190,950.00), 670 (₦467,500) and 65 (₦47,625.00) respectively. 27,900 eggs were destroyed and compensation of ₦209,250.00 was paid. Compensation was not paid for 23,565 layers, 1,480 broilers and 450 turkeys that died before reports were made. Although the Federal Government spent a whooping sum of ₦51,723,575.00 in paying compensation to the farmers, they lost ₦108,468,425.00 when considering the prevailing market price of the products at the time and value of the dead birds not compensated. They also lost an uncalculated amount on medication and veterinary consultations. Having lost their capital and considering that the waiting period was 2 years, 43% of the farmers were discouraged and never went back to poultry farming. To mitigate these effects in the future, I recommend therefore that poultry farmers should be trained to improve on and observe strict biosecurity measures to prevent the occurrence of the disease. In addition to having veterinarians attached to their farms, they should be taught the clinical signs of HPAI for early detection and reporting should outbreaks occurs. Farmers should as well be made to insure their farms to be covered during outbreaks and the Federal Government of Nigeria should improve on their compensation plans in the future to alleviate the sufferings of farmers.
HPAI, Economic effect, Poultry, Farmers, Compensation, Discouraged