As seen in the New York Times the other day, PepsiCo announced a new undertaking to increase its source for chickpeas while expanding business for local farmers in Ethiopia, and ultimately address famine related issues that continue to cripple the Horn of Africa. Working in conjunction with The World Food Programme and USAID (United States Agency for International Development), the project has a multi-fold purpose with both immediate and long-term benefits to the country.
As chickpeas continue to grow in demand, there is a need for a consistently high quality output of the crop. PepsiCo, a large player in the space of beverages and snacks has brought the importance of Ethiopia to light and is developing initiatives to secure its own supply of chickpeas, as well as empowering Ethiopia to foster better farming methods. PepsiCo plans to bring about a transformation by investing in better seeds and implementing drip irrigation systems enabling farmers to double their output.
Committed to bringing about a difference to the country, PepsiCo will partner with The World Food Programme to bring the surplus in the form of chickpea-based food supplements and other products to Ethiopians addressing hunger and nutritional needs. Mr. Derek Yach, spokesman for PepsiCo, recognizes the challenges that lie ahead with addressing the nation’s crisis, “The tough reality is that crops grow as fast as they grow,” Mr. Yach said. “Some 12 million people will remain in need for years after this famine ends, though, and we might have some impact on them.”