The U.S. Agency for International Development, PepsiCo Inc. and the United Nations World Food Program announced a groundbreaking public-private partnership to increase chickpea production in Ethiopia.
Called Enterprise EthioPEA, the initiative was unveiled Wednesday, Sept. 21, during the Clinton Global Initiative Annual Meeting in New York, USA. It aims to promote long-term nutritional and economic security in Ethiopia.
Chickpeas are said to be a more sustainable alternative to meat, consisting of an average 22 percent protein. Ethiopia is Africa’s largest producer of chickpeas, but the country’s potential to increase yield and improve quality has not been maximized.
The initiative will leverage USAID and PepsiCo’s agricultural expertise in modernizing Ethiopia’s agriculture and irrigation. This is expected to result in a two-fold increase in chickpea yield for more than 10,000 farmers there.
The chickpeas will be developed as a nutrient-rich and ready-to-use supplementary food, which will be used to fight malnutrition not only in Ethiopia, but across the Horn of Africa in the long term. This component of the initiative will leverage WFP’s mass distribution capability, with funding from the PepsiCo Foundation.
Enterprise EthioPEA will also scale up and strengthen Ethiopia’s chickpea supply chain for the domestic and export markets.
PepsiCo’s investment in the initiative is part of its strategy to build a $30 billion global nutrition business by 2020 and become a leader in sustainable agriculture around the world.
“This unique partnership illustrates how we can develop market-based solutions and leverage resources to make a sustainable impact in reducing hunger and poverty, which is particularly critical in light of the crisis in the Horn of Africa,” USAID Administrator Rajiv Shah said.
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