Later today, with the Clinton Global Initiative Annual Meeting as a backdrop, PepsiCo’s CEO Indra Nooyi will come together with Josette Sheeran from the United Nations World Food Programme and Dr. Rajiv Shah from the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) to announce a partnership that will lead a chickpea revolution to promote economic and nutritional security in Ethiopia.
The initiative, called Enterprise EthioPEA, is the latest investment in PepsiCo’s global strategy to make the company a leader in sustainable agriculture around the world and truly bring to life the idea that “doing good” is “good business” at PepsiCo.
But this is a truly exciting and unique initiative for so many reasons; not least because it was inspired by Ethiopia’s own leaders, notably Prime Minister Meles Zenawi. In fact, Enterprise EthioPEA is now being rolled-out in close collaboration with the Ethiopian Ministry of Agriculture and local partners who really understand the real challenges and opportunities on the ground.
Through this initiative, PepsiCo and our partners aim to dramatically increase chickpea production to produce a nutrient-rich ready-to-use-supplementary food that addresses famine and malnourishment, enable economic development for farmers across Ethiopia by doubling the yield of their crops, and scale-up and strengthen the Ethiopian chickpea supply chain to harness the potential of a domestic and export market so that we can increase the availability of locally-produced nutritious products for consumers.
Chickpeas – in their most infamous form – are best known as a key ingredient of hummus and are a staple of meals in India, Middle East and Africa. But what most people don’t know is that with an average of 22 percent protein and the ability to fix nitrogen, chickpeas are rich in nutrients and environmental benefits. So, at a time where 13 million people are suffering from famine across the Horn of Africa, we are incredibly proud to be bringing this program to the region.
Over the course of the next couple of months, we will work together with farmers, consumers, communities and the Ethiopian people to plant the seeds of a healthier future, and support our business for both today and tomorrow.