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June 17, 2016

Bill Gates’s Chicken Offer Ruffles Feathers in Bolivia

The Bolivian government turned down a donation of hens from Bill Gates, citing its already-successful poultry industry, Reuters reports. The philanthropist had announced plans last week to donate 100,000 chickens to countries with high proverty levels.

Mr. Gates's "Coop Dreams" project, a collaboration with Heifer International, aims to help families in developing countries gain greater economic self-sufficiency through small-scale chicken breeding. The effort is aimed primarily at sub-Saharan Africa, but Bolivia  which produces 197 million chickens annually, according to an industry group — was also on the recipient list.

"How can he think we are living 500 years ago, in the middle of the jungle not knowing how to produce?" said Cesar Cocarico, the country's development minister. "Respectfully, he should stop talking about Bolivia."