Rwanda is to give an African twist to one of Britain’s most successful marketing campaigns as it seeks to beat malnutrition by persuading its people to go to work on an egg.
Over the next five years, the Rwanda Agricultural Board is to give every poor family in the country an egg-laying chicken, with a pilot programme due to begin in the next few weeks.
Officials said the scheme was designed to reduce widespread malnutrition by providing people, particularly children and pregnant women, with a cheap and readily available source of protein. Due to a combination of poverty and a starch-dominated, protein-poor diet, more than a third of Rwandan children are stunted, according to health ministry figures.
“The objective is for every Rwandan, wherever they are, to access animal-resource proteins,” Solange Uwituze of the Rwandan Agriculture Board was quoted as saying by local newspapers.
Rwanda produces far fewer eggs than the global average: Britain, where 30 million eggs are eaten every day, consumes as many in an week as Rwanda does in a year. The average Rwandan eats just over one egg a month — although that is up from half an egg in 2010, suggesting that demand is rising.