The U.S. had a ‘chicken in every pot.’ Pakistan aims for chickens on every plot.
Thursday, December 20, 2018
RAWALPINDI, Pakistan — The high-pitched cheeping of a thousand newborn chicks fills the humid room. Technicians pluck them from incubation trays, inject them with a vaccine against Newcastle disease, discard those with deformities and pop the rest into plastic containers, where they will travel in heated trucks to government farms and be raised to adulthood.
This process, repeated twice a week at the poultry research center in Punjab province, is the first step in a national anti-poverty program announced Nov. 29 by Prime Minister Imran Khan. The premise is simple: Provide five hens and one rooster to several million poor families, especially rural women, so they can earn income at home by selling eggs.
But Pakistan is also facing dire macroeconomic and fiscal crises, with the rupee plummeting against the dollar and its foreign debt burden soaring out of control.