TECHNOLOGY hyperbillionaire
Bill Gates says the
answer to extreme poverty
is chickens. And that’s not
the name of new Microsoft
Gates, the founder of the
world’s largest software
company, says the best way to
improve the lives of the world’s
poorest is not computers or
the internet, but raising a few
roosters and hens.
“It’s pretty clear to me that
just about anyone who’s living
in extreme poverty is better
off if they have chickens,” he
said this week on his website
The world’s richest person,
who made his $75 billion
fortune pushing for a Microsoft
computer in every home,
said his Bill & Melinda Gates
Foundation has just partnered
with the global development
group Heifer International to
donate some 100,000 chickens to
families in sub-Saharan Africa
living on less than $2 a day.
The goal, he said, is to get 30
percent of the rural families in
the region to raise improved
breeds of vaccinated chickens,
compared with the current five
The return is better than other
solutions, he said: Chickens
cost little to take care of, they
multiply fast and eggs and
chicken meat can boost family
nutrition. They also empower
women, he said.
“Because chickens are small
and typically stay close to
home, many cultures regard
them as a woman’s animal, in
contrast to larger livestock like
goats or cows. Women who sell
chickens are likely to reinvest
the profits in their families.”

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