Bill Gates Sends Out Chickens to Africa

September 18, 2016

Unlocking Word Meanings

Read the following words/expressions found in today’s article. 

1. reach out / ritʃ aʊt / (v.) – to offer support
Example: The government makes it a point to reach out to the poor.

2. rural / ˈrʊər əl / (adj.) – describes something related to the countryside
ExampleIf I had the choice, I would rather live in rural areas than cities.

3. poultry / ˈpoʊl tri / (n.) – birds that produce meat and eggs
Example: Raising poultry is a common livelihood in the countryside. 

4. consumption / kənˈsʌmp ʃən / (n.) – the process of using resources
Example: Increased food consumption can lead to weight gain.

5. malnutrition / ˌmæl nuˈtrɪʃ ən / (n.) – a condition caused by lack of nutrients
ExampleMalnutrition is common in third-world countries.


Read the text below.
Bill Gates is reaching out to developing countries by donating chickens.

With a track record of campaigns aimed at providing financial service for the underprivileged, the Microsoft founder pledged to donate 100,000 chickens to poverty-stricken nations within Sub-Saharan Africa and the South American country Bolivia. According to Gates, his vision involves helping improve the lives of 30% of the families in the countries’ rural areas by poultry farming.

Currently, Africa’s food supply can only support 40% of its 1.2 billion residents. Pan African Agribusiness & Agroindustry Consortium chairman Moussa Seck asserts that state leaders are working on eliminating hunger by 2025.

Keeping chickens comes with advantages, such as meat production for personal consumption or for business. In addition, chicken eggs contain nutrients and protein that can fight malnutrition.

As part of the project, Gates has collaborated with Heifer [HEF-er] International, an organization that addresses poverty concerns. Their process allows people to donate animals to the underprivileged. The estimated cost of donating 100,000 chicks through Heifer can reach up to $200,000.

Despite Gates’s act of goodwill, citizens of Bolivia took offense against the initiative. César Cocarico, Bolivia’s Minister of Land and Rural Development, demanded an apology from the renowned billionaire. He argues that Gates is underestimating Bolivia’s economic capacity. The country, which reportedly produces 197 million chickens every year, is able to sell 36 million of them overseas.

In a personal blog post called “Coop Dreams,” Gates expressed his stand on the impact of raising chickens on poverty. He cites good investment and affordability as some of the reasons why he recommends raising chickens. 

Viewpoint Discussion

Enjoy a discussion with your tutor.  

Discussion A

·         Do you believe that Bill Gates’ donation can help reduce hunger and poverty? Why or why not?
·        If you were a citizen of Bolivia, would you have the same reaction to Bill Gates’ donation? Why or   why not?

Discussion B

·         In what other ways can we reduce hunger?
·         Aside from hunger, what other social issues do you think need to be addressed? 

September 18, 2016