Finnish development finance agency Finnfund made a $10 million loan to Agflow Poultry to expand its EthioChicken farm network.
EthioChicken launched in 2010 to hatch and sell chicks to rural Ethiopians to boost food and income security. The company sells non-native breeds, which it maintains thrive better than Ethiopian chickens. EthioChicken has sold 13 million chicks in the country through 1,800 rural agents and 700 employees, 40 percent of them women.
Ethiopia is afflicted by drought, a surging population and political instability, which make it vulnerable to food crises.
Outside of Ethiopia, chicken ownership and farming has won support from prominent funders, like Bill Gates, who has been outspoken about the potential of small-scale poultry farms to aid poor women. His foundation recently gave $21.4 million to the World Poultry Association.