FAO assists Jakarta with poultry market restructuring
19 January 2011 - Human infections with H5N1 highly pathogenic avian influenza (H5N1 HPAI) have occurred more frequently in the greater Jakarta area of Indonesia than any other area of the world. Pathogen amplification and the progressive accumulation of virus along the poultry market chain, that is, from poultry farms to live-bird markets, may be contributing to the higher human infection rate observed in greater Jakarta. To reduce H5N1 HPAI risk to humans (and to an extent to other animals too) following a cluster of human cases in Jakarta in January 2007, the DKI Jakarta provincial government decided to reduce the movement of live birds into Jakarta by issuing a ban on the entry of live birds within the city limits and organized a limited number of large relocation centres where poultry can be gathered and slaughtered [Regional Regulation No. 4/2007]. The government also banned the rearing of backyard poultry within the province, a move that reduces the localized infection foci that could be serving as hotspots for interaction between animals, caregivers and masses of consumers.
In Jakarta, and more generally in Indonesia, poultry production and the consequent marketing of live and slaughtered animals is predominantly private sector driven. After H5N1 HPAI struck the country, it became evident that the larger operators had fared better than the smaller ones and, to their dismay, had increased their market share at the expense of smaller businesses. This scenario created resistance among poultry producers, collectors and slaughterers to acquiesce to new government-imposed regulations because they viewed it as a means for the government and larger private companies to constrain their business prospects and long-term viability.
Historically, and in addition to the abovementioned, the smaller poultry-related operators have been much less willing to adapt to modern hygiene and sanitation standards, leading to unsafe poultry market practices in large, concentrated urban populations. With this in mind, the government is making special efforts to ensure that measures taken in the context of reducing HPAI are sensitive to the concerns of small-scale poultry actors as in the reorganization of the collection yards and slaughtering facilities in Jakarta as part of a poultry market restructuring agenda.
With the assistance of CREATE, a local NGO, the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) assisted local administration officials to assess the preparedness and increase the competency of the different poultry relocation centres and to analyze their organizational and training needs. FAO proposed practical solutions through the development of training modules and standard operating procedures, and assisted in the implementation of the training and organization of individuals involved in poultry market restructuring.
Thanks to the support provided by the FAO programme in Indonesia, management staff of the poultry relocation centers in Jakarta have a better understanding of the needs of the collectors and slaughterers. They are now better prepared to handle the hundreds, if not thousands, of small collectors and slaughterers who will eventually make use of these facilities. Additionally, they will facilitate training and assist the collectors and slaughterers to operate the facilities and equipment in proper and efficient ways. The management will also ensure that the collectors and slaughterers abide by the biosecurity and food safety regulations. Standard operating procedures are now adapted to local requirements, thus resulting in optimization of facilities usage so that Jakarta consumers do not face supply disruptions or food safety problems.