Kenyan Farmer Teaches Bill Gates How to Hold a Chicken

  • Billionaire Bill Gates recalled how Mary Mathuli, a farmer in Kenya, taught him how to hold a chicken and swing a hoe when he visited the country in 2022.

    According to Gates, the experience in Makueni County taught him to learn by doing. He understood how the new agricultural inputs and practices make a big difference.

    “This experience taught me a couple of important lessons. First, my farming skills – like holding a chicken and swinging a hoe – need some work,” he shared.

    Bill Gates at a smart farm in Makueni on November 16, 2022

    Bill Gates at a smart farm in Makueni on November 16, 2022


    Bill Gates

    “Our first stop at Mary’s farm was her chicken coop, where she promptly handed me a large hen to hold,” Gates added.

    In a statement issued on Tuesday, February 14, the business mogul noted that some of the farmers in Kenya were developing new skills and embracing new technologies to adapt to some of the harshest conditions for growing crops and rearing livestock.

    The billionaire lauded Mathuli and other Kenyan farmers who have adopted incredible new tools and practices that can limit crop losses and help farms thrive even in extreme weather.

    “I was impressed by Mary’s entrepreneurial spirit and her optimism. She appeared to seize every opportunity to try out new technologies and agricultural practices,” Gates stated.

    Furthermore, Gates added that Mathuli provided guidance to several hundred farmers in the community by showing them how to use drought-tolerant seeds, raise chickens and adopt other climate adaptation agricultural strategies.

    Among other lessons Gates learned from Mathuli was how farmers in Kenya use mobile phones, especially the weather app to guide them in farming.

    He was impressed by the list of drought-resistant crops including maize and beans developed by the International Maize and Wheat Improvement Center and the Kenya Agriculture and Livestock Research Organisaton (KALRO).

    The billionaire has been at the forefront to fight world hunger by providing relief food to drought-stricken areas across the globe.

    In September 2022, Gates suggested that technological innovation would help solve hunger.  He introduced ‘magic seeds’ crops engineered to adapt to climate change and resist agricultural pests.

    Makueni Governor Mutula Kilonzo conversing with Microsoft founder Bill Gates

    Makueni Governor Mutula Kilonzo conversing with Microsoft founder Bill Gates


    Mutula Kilonzo


Jay Ndungu

Jay is a computer scientist and journalist with a passion for the intersection of technology and society. He has a background in computer science, developing a deep understanding of the technical aspects of the industry, including programming languages and software development methodologies. Currently, He writes for Nairobi Times, covering a wide range of topics including technology, politics, sports, and entertainment. With his unique combination of technical knowledge and journalistic experience, Jay brings a unique perspective to the stories he covers, able to explain complex technical concepts in an easy-to-understand manner. His work is dedicated to bridge the gap between technology and society, and to make people more aware of the potential of technology to make the world a better place.

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