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Bolivia Offended After Bill Gates' Hen Offer

21 June 2016

BOLIVIA - Bolivia's Minister of Rural Development and Land, C├ęsar Cocarico has suggested it was rude of businessman and philanthropist Bill Gates to offer the country chickens as part of his project to help the poor, according to international media reports.

Partnering with charity Heifer International, Mr Gates donated more than 100,000 chickens to people living in poverty around the world.

Bolivia already has a productive poultry sector.

In addition, Keith Ramsay, formerly of South Africa's agriculture ministry DAFF, told FAO's Domestic Animal Diversity Network that Africa did not need to import genetic resources for the poultry industry.

"We have sufficient poultry breeds in Africa to develop good layers and growers through selection and the crossbreeding within breeds - the Boschveld chicken (Ovambo, Venda, Matabele) is a good example - it is an ideal free range/household chicken without any infusion of genetic material from another continent," he said.

"It really isn’t necessary to introduce any genetics other than what has been on the continent for many years," he added.

However, he said that any initiatives using local breeds should be encouraged.

It is unclear from Mr Gates' and Heifer International's campaign material what breed of chickens will be used for the donations.

ThePoultrySite News Desk

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