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Pakistan

Web Desk
December 3, 2018

Imran Khan, Bill Gates and ‘chicken formula’

Pakistan

Web Desk
Mon, Dec, 18

ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Imran Khan sparked a controversy last week when he presented a ‘chicken formula’ for poverty alleviation and then defended it by bringing in Microsoft founder Bill Gates in his support.

However, a study published in Daily Jang shows how the formula was unable to achieve the desired results in the African countries where it was implemented and also became matter of considerable criticism from experts.

Gates’ program titled ‘Coop Dreams’ in Africa of delivering 100,000 rural women to ease poverty was challenged by BBC’s Africa business reporter Matthew Davis who asks where the feed and the land will come from once the population expands while adding that the increase would also result to the price falling.

It was further revealed through reports that African countries like Zimbabwe, Ghana, Uganda and Mozambique where breeding livestock is already prevalent, the average annual income still does not manage to reach $1000.

“Coop Dreams” was also faced with censure from distinguished development economist Chris Blattman who argued that the distribution as well as the training costs of teaching families how to raise them would make the scheme wasteful.

On the other hand, writers Joseph Hanlon and Teresa Smart through an example of Mozambique show how basic infrastructure, veterinary care, assured supplies of day-old chicks and effective markets are required for businesses such as these to flourish.

The prime minister on Saturday cited the poultry initiative taken by Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates to silence those criticizing him on his ‘chicken formula’ for implementation in Pakistan.

The premier took to social networking website Twitter and wrote, “For the colonised minds, when ‘desis talk about chickens combating poverty they get mocked but when ‘walaitis’ talk about desi chicken and poverty it’s brilliance.”

Earlier, during an address in a ceremony related to government’s 100 days, PM Imran said he will give eggs and chickens to rural women so they can start their own poultry business.

He said that the project has been tested and the government will also ensure to provide injections to them for raising the chickens faster.

In 2016, Bill Gates said a farmer starting with five hens could earn $1,000 a year, compared with the extreme poverty line of $700 a year. Eventually Gates wants to help 30 percent of rural African families raise chickens, up from 5 percent.

Gates’ wife Melinda, co-chair of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, said breeding chickens can also empower women by giving them a source of income, which they are more likely than men to spend on education and healthcare.

Gates acknowledged that some might scoff at the plan, but insisted that he believes it will have an impact. “It sounds funny,” Gates wrote on the project’s website. “But I mean it when I say that I am excited about chickens.”