Foot-and-mouth disease cases reach 52,271

The number of foot-and-mouth disease cases in Egypt has risen to 52,271, with 7,754 resulting in death, as of Sunday, according to a report prepared by the General Authority for Veterinary Services.

Agriculture Minister Mahmoud Reda Ismail issued instructions that agricultural associations in the governorates affected by the disease be given soft loans worth LE20 million.

Ismail also issued another LE8 million in compensation for members of cooperative societies who have incurred losses due to the disease.

An official source at the Agriculture Ministry said small farmers would not benefit from Ismail’s decision and that it only “serves the association mafias.” The source noted that no more than 50 percent of members in said associations are farmers.

Meanwhile, Prime Minister Kamal al-Ganzouri’s cabinet is considering announcing rules next week for disbursing compensation to farmers who have incurred losses from foot-and-mouth, after growing criticism over the government’s failure to respond to farmers’ demands.

Translated from Al-Masry Al-Youm

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