The chicken farm that wants to save Ethiopia from starvation
Feeding people sustainably doesn’t always require new solutions such as Big Data, elaborate lab tests or the latest technological advances. Sometimes the key is to put a simple twist on something that already exists. Today we bring you a story that begins with an egg: Ethiochicken, an innovative and sustainable business that is helping to save Ethiopia from hunger. In this arid corner of Africa, 21% of the population is poor and a diet rich in protein is difficult to sustain. The health consequences of droughts, long distances and the lack of training of farming families are evident: malnutrition, developmental problems and chronic weakness, especially in children.
When Ethiochicken began its first steps, people in the region consumed an average of seven eggs a year. Today, this figure has risen to more than eighty in the regions where it operates, and child malnutrition has decreased from 51% to 38% in three years.
An effective tool for entrepreneurship
Since 2010, the company has been selling 45-day-old chicks to local farms along with the feed and vaccines needed to raise them. And it’s not just any hen, but a breed capable of laying more eggs than the typical local hen and gaining weight faster, thus multiplying the productivity of small farmers.
During the first days, a team that started with 100 workers (today there are 1,000) is in charge of closely monitoring the development of the chicks, in addition to offering training so that its more than 500,000 customers can raise them successfully.
Why is this solution important?
With the sale of chicks, Ethiochicken initiates a series of interrelated improvements.
· The initiative brings quality protein at an affordable price that contributes to a healthy, balanced and fair diet.
· As they are chicks, their size makes it much easier to gain capillarity and thus reach more farms.
· It strengthens food security in an area where droughts make food production very difficult. The result is a population that is more resilient to the consequences of climate change.
· The training provided by the company to farmers and the vaccination of animals reduces food losses that are usually caused by poor management at the production stage.
· Through a small investment, farmers can obtain local food and, at the same time, generate a source of income. This income translates into access to a more varied diet for better nutrition and allows Ethiopians to access a better standard of living, with the possibility of investing in health and education.
· The role of women in this part of the world is closely linked to the home, so raising chickens becomes a job that many women can have at their fingertips, promoting female empowerment and the empowerment of rural women.
What about you? Did you think that something as simple as an egg could be so powerful?