Bill Gates: Chickens, not computers, can solve poverty



Want to end extreme poverty? Technology hyper-billionaire Bill Gates says the answer is chickens. And that’s not the name of new Microsoft software.

Gates, the founder of the world’s largest software company, says the best thing 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 percent.

The return is better than other solutions, he said: Chickens cost little to take care of, they mulitiply 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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  • Basil Ogbanufe

    Quite interesting. Then what will be the role of formal education?

    • emmanuel kalu

      chickens give them the ability to make a living, feed themselves and then they can send their kids to school. nobody can learn on an empty stomach.

      • Basil Ogbanufe

        1. In the USA, how many families overcame poverty that way?
        2. What is the cost of quality education for a Nigerian (or African) child?
        3. Please what is poverty?

        • Comicbishop

          I’m trying to understand your argument. His initiative is simple and never ill thought. He never undermined the role of formal education. Everything still boils down to entrepreneurship. With all the ‘formal’ education, we still have lots of Nigerian graduates without jobs and a lot are not willing to create wealth. Poultry farming isn’t restricted to the illiterates alone.

          • Basil Ogbanufe

            My argument is;
            1. Was the USA ever a poor country? If it were what strategy did it use to get out of poverty? But if it were never a poor country it means it does not know what poverty is, how come it’s proffering remedies?
            2. As par intention, he seems to be a man after results and that is ok. But as par remedies for poverty I think more research should be done.

        • amador kester

          Yes i dont trust this man with all the history of his toxic genetically modified crops. There is need to do proper toxicological and immunological deficiency tests on those chickens

  • emmanuel kalu

    exactly. you have to give the poor the ability to make a living, feed themselves and this would lead to improvement.