Through a multiyear grant from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, the World Poultry Foundation will lead this initiative to enable a production and distribution system to deliver ~ 61 million day old chicks of low-input dual purpose breeds annually across Tanzania and Nigeria to rural households.

These day-old chicks will be produced from low-input dual purpose breeds through local private sector partners and supplied to “Brooder Units” (BUs) who will specialize in the brooding, feeding, and proper vaccination process. This program will help establish ~3000 BU enterprises and impact over 2.0 million rural households by providing complete value chain opportunities for poultry production. This includes access to appropriate improved genetics, affordable quality feed, quality vaccines, technical extension training, and a market development program for the offtake of the excess meat and eggs produced.

The objective of the program is to recruit and enlist majority women to manage these enterprises, and in turn empower them to make decisions regarding the poultry assets in the household. This will create a consistent revenue source that can be reinvested into the poultry enterprise, thus making the industry sustainable and not just a philanthropic exercise to give away a few chickens over a limited period.

This program has four basic goals:

1. Increased poultry production and productivity: By having access to improved low-input and dual purpose breeds that have been properly brooded, fed, and vaccinated, we can expect an increase in productivity of at least 200% compared to the current local indigenous breeds that are being used.

2. Increased rural household income: Potential income values are variable based on location and circumstances, but we would expect to see a net direct value of production of at least US$300 per year from egg and chickens for the rural woman rearing 25 to 30 dual-purpose birds. An indirect outcome could be the increase in income from maize and soybean production due to increased demand for aggregation of grains to produce quality feed.

3. Improved household nutrition: By increasing productivity and producing more meat and eggs, we anticipate that a portion of the output would be consumed by the families, particularly the children. What is not consumed could then be sold to market aggregators for income.

4. Empowerment of women: The goal of the program is to establish poultry enterprises owned and operated by women. Our gender theory of change is that, by enabling women’s collective action in poultry development, we will increase women’s access to poultry production inputs, extension and markets. This will lead to increased women’s control over poultry assets, which would enhance the status of women at the household and community level and increase women’s decision making around poultry systems.