Bill Gates is excited about chickens!


We are delighted that Bill Gates is talking about how chickens can help lift people out of poverty.

He has written on his blog, Gates Notes, about why he would raise chickens if he was living on $2 a day and the press have been reporting on this widely.  No wonder.  Bill Gates is the world’s richest man but he has revealed that, should he lose all his money, what he would really want is a small flock of chickens.  And naturally we agree with him.

Shivia has been working in West Bengal since 2011, helping families living on less than $2 a day earn an income from raising chickens and selling the produce.  The Gates Foundation has asked us to share our knowledge and experience and we are about to do just that.  Our manual – Poultry Development Services – a guide to operations – is soon to be published and Bill Gates will be receiving the first copy!


Press coverage


If you were living on $2 a day, what would you do to improve your life? That’s a real question for the nearly 1 billion people living in extreme poverty today. There’s no single right answer, of course, and poverty looks different in different places. But through my work with the foundation, I’ve met many people in poor countries who raise chickens, and I have learned a lot about the ins and outs of owning these birds. (As a city boy from Seattle, I had a lot to learn!) It’s pretty clear to me that just about anyone who’s living in extreme poverty is better off if they have chickens.

Bill Gates (Gates Notes June 2016)

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Meet some of our farmers

Kalyani

(PDS FARMER)

Kalyani is 30 and married with two children aged 8 and 10 years. She started her poultry enterprise with Shivia in May 2015 and since then…

Kamala

(PDS FARMER)

Kamala is 36 and has three children, one of whom has a brain tumour. Her husband is a daily-wage labourer and prior to her poultry enterprise…

Akina

(PDS FARMER)

Akina is 50 and is married with seven daughters. She and her husband Hajrat used to work as daily agricultural labourers, earning approximately Rs 100…

Nishikanta

(AMS FARMER)

Nishikanta is 45 and he registered for AMS in June 2014. He has a small plot of land, part of which he leases to another…

  • Shivia was a natural project for TFN to support: a strong social change mission, with a local focus providing a hand up, not a hand out to the women and communities it works with.
    Karen Millen
    UK Operations Manager, The Funding Network
  • We were thrilled to see the impact of the work being done and to meet the team on the ground. It was truly humbling to see the difference being made to so many people by this group of highly motivated and capable people.
    Stewart Brown
    Director Artemis Investment Management LLP
  • We are excited to support such a strategically-minded and professionally run charity that is making a real and sustainable difference. The focus and design of the livelihood programmes are simple and highly effective – and the results speak for themselves.
    Lars-eric Roden
    Director, The T&J Meyer Foundation
  • Farming is my only source of income... I registered with Shivia to learn how to reduce my farming expenses and produce better quality outputs. I am definitely seeing good results compared to previous years and have learned how to make bio-pesticides.
    AMS farmer
    Familia location West Bengal
  • I cannot thank Shivia enough for giving me this opportunity. I am extremely happy that your team held my hand and provided me with excellent training to understand about raising chickens and earning money from them. I now have the confidence to carry on with my poultry enterprise on my own.
    PDS farmer
    Kolaghat location West Bengal

some of our supporters