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PepsiCo Foundation and CARE on Tuesday announced the expansion of their global ‘She Feeds the World’ programme to India in West Bengal, home to the company’s first food factory in the country.
The programme ‘She Feeds the World’ focuses on strengthening the role of small-scale women producers across three dimensions: economic, social and environmental.
At the economic level, it would build capabilities for the small-scale farmers; socially, the project aims to promote equitable access to knowledge, resources and inclusive markets and from an environmental perspective, it would tackle soil, water, biodiversity and carbon footprint issues.
Through an $18 million, five-year global partnership between the PepsiCo Foundation and CARE International, She Feeds the World is already supporting female farmers in Egypt, Uganda, Peru, Thailand and Vietnam. In India, it aims to reach more than more than 48,000 women, men and children and indirectly benefit 1,500,000 individuals in West Bengal. The programme was launched in the presence of West Bengal agriculture minister, Sobhandeb Chattopadhyay.
Speaking on the occasion, Roberto Azevêdo - chief corporate affairs officer and chairman of board of directors, PepsiCo Foundation, pointed out that the company has had a special relationship with India going back more than 30 years.
“West Bengal is where we found a home for our first food factory in the country.
Over the decades, we have grown to become one of India’s largest convenient food and beverage companies.”
“Today, we are proud to renew this commitment to the women farmers of West Bengal. A commitment that we hope will ripple beyond the state and across the country, building a network of climate-resilient, gender diverse, economically prosperous rural farming systems,” he added.
With the help of this initiative, PepsiCo has trained over 1,500 women farmers since 2019 on potato agronomy and sustainability; seven women’s groups piloted a shared land-lease programme. It is expected that the programme will impact more than 300,000 women through direct and community engagement.
PepsiCo in India works with over 27,000 farmers in 14 states in the country and Ahmed ElSheikh, president, PepsiCo India mentioned that out of these over 65 per cent (17,500) of farmers were from West Bengal.
It may be mentioned that West Bengal has about 96 per cent small and marginal farmers with small landholding. The next state where the women farmer economic empowerment programme could be rolled out is Uttar Pradesh.
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First Published: Tue, January 24 2023. 19:53 IST