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Gates Foundation gives $ 21.4 million to enhance poultry production in Africa

Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation has pledged a four year $ 21.4 million grant to World Poultry Foundation to enhance poultry production in Africa. Most of this funding will go to Nigeria and Tanzania where World Poultry Foundation scientists have sited embryonic poultry raising programs despite poor transportation facilities.  The foundation also gets assistance from an app that was developed last year at the University of Georgia which helps farmers to mix the correct ratio of feed ingredients to raise a healthy poultry flock.

Justin Fowler, an assistant professor in the UGA Poultry Science Department created the app, FreedMIx after working with the Ghana Association of Poultry Farmers in 2016. Randall Ennis, CEO of the World Poultry Foundation said that developing an appropriate feeding plan for poultry in the rural Africa was one of the major challenges faced by the foundation and the app has helped the cause.

The Gates Foundation announced on January 23 that it would provide a four year $21.4 million grant to World Poultry Foundation. The foundation has chosen Nigeria and Tanzania to earmark the funds owing to many different reasons- the main being accessibility of mobile phones in the region. There were many private U.S. companies working in the area that extended its support for betterment of poultry in the region. The governments were also all cooperative, said Randall Ennis, CEO, World Poultry Foundation.

Mr. Ennis optimized that by the end of the fourth year of the program, more than 2.5 million families in Nigeria and Tanzania would be benefited by the extensive assistance and training. He added that unlike in the past, the foundation will focus on imparting training rather than delivering free chicks and feed to the rural farmers. He also expects to create more than 1500 women entrepreneurial enterprises which will supply healthy chicks to the rural smallholder farmers.

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