WASHINGTON DC -- At a recent session of the CSIS Chevron Forum on Development, Nancy Roman, WFP Director of Communications, Public Policy and Private Partnerships, joined Tara Acharya, PepsiCo Director of Global Health and Agriculture Policy, to share their goals for Enterprise EthioPEA, a public-private partnership that promotes long-term nutritional and economic security in Ethiopia while also combating malnutrition. The partnership also includes the United States Agency for International Development (USAID).
EthioPEA will take advantage of PepsiCo and USAID’s agricultural expertise to dramatically increase chickpea production for 10,000 Ethiopian farmers, as well as to strengthen supply chains and expand domestic and export markets.
WFP’s food expertise will be used to develop a locally sourced, nutrient-rich, chickpea-based ready-to-use supplementary food (RUSF) to combat malnutrition. This product will initially aim to reach 40,000 malnourished children under two, with a goal to expand across the Horn of Africa, which is currently suffering from the effects of the worst drought to hit the region in decades.
Speaking about the decision of WFP and PepsiCo to work together, Roman said, “PepsiCo is in a position to help accelerate demand for increased chickpea production; WFP is in a position to work with smallholder farmers and with the hungriest of the hungry. We knew right away that we had the basis for a partnership.”
PepsiCo began exploring the initiative by setting up two pilot projects in chickpea growing regions of Ethiopia, where they shared agricultural best practices with smallholder farmers. The pilot projects allowed farmers to see yields increase by as much as 100 per cent.
“The partnership was a coming together of many motivations from both the business side and from the perspective of creating positive social impact, on the basis of the nutritional benefits of chickpeas, agricultural production and the opportunity to boost yields for farmers in sub-Saharan Africa,” said Acharya. “We have set the partnership up for tremendous success for the long term.”