A new five-year $20 million alliance with the US Agency for International Development (USAID) has been announced by PepsiCo., in an attempt to encourage a gender-inclusive supply chain while developing sustainable food production.
The organizations will work collectively under the Women’s Global Development and Prosperity Initiative (W-GDP), which was founded by the White House in 2019. The objective of the startup is to assist leading global food and beverage company’s attempts to strengthen women in agriculture and aid in building a more sustainable food system.
Both PepsiCo. and USAID will invest $5 million each initially to initiate the programme, which stands for small- and women-led medium-enterprises and women-owned PepsiCo. suppliers to enhance the durability of rural farming groups in Asia, the Middle East, and Latin America.
As per the Food and Agriculture Organization, if male and female peasants had the same right to resources, their yield would rise by up to 30% and help to eradicate hunger of about 150 million people. But, women face barriers including lack of land rights, limited access to information, technology, and financing, domestic work expectations, etc.
With this project, PepsiCo. anticipates driving inclusiveness throughout the food and beverage industry, by exemplifying that engaging women actively as vital players of the company’s sustainable sourcing schemes leads to improved business outcomes.
USAID acting administrator, John Barsa said- “At USAID, we feel that investing in female empowerment is important for the advancement of a country to transform it into a self-reliant nation. The full economic inclusion of half the world’s population eventually will contribute to more peace and prosperity for everyone.”
He also added- “However, we cannot do this magnificent work without joining hands with the private sector. Through the W-GDP Fund, our coalition with PepsiCo. will encourage economic opportunities and leadership responsibilities for women peasants.”
The collaboration stands on PepsiCo. and USAID’s latest project in West Bengal, India, wherein they provide training on topics such as crop rotation techniques, record keeping, and pest control, and attempt to aid women in getting access to lease land. PepsiCo. hopes its training programme in West Bengal to benefit more than 300,000 women farmers through direct and community involvement..