Bill Gates launches chicken plan to help Africa poor

Billionaire philanthropist and Microsoft's co-founder Bill Gates speaks to the media in front of a chicken coop in New YorkImage copyright

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Mr Gates says raising chickens can be a way to tackle extreme poverty

Microsoft founder Bill Gates has launched a campaign to help extremely poor families in sub-Saharan Africa to raise chickens.

The billionaire says raising and selling the birds can be efficient in tackling extreme poverty.

He has promised to donate 100,000 chickens, and the project’s page has already been shared thousands of times.

The UN estimates that 41% of people in sub-Saharan Africa live in extreme poverty.

Mr Gates said a farmer breeding five hens could earn more than $1,000 (£690) a year. The poverty line is about $700 (£484).

He added that the goal was to help 30% of the rural families in sub-Saharan Africa raise improved breeds of vaccinated chickens, up from the current 5%.

“These chickens are multiplying on an ongoing basis so there’s no investment that has a return percentage anything like being able to breed chickens,” he said at the launch of the campaign in New York.

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He is partnering with charity organisation Heifer International.

Some 800 million people live in extreme poverty worldwide, the UN says.

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