National/Kolkata: The PepsiCo Foundation, the philanthropic arm of PepsiCo, and CARE, a not-for-profit organisation dedicated to empowerment for marginalised women and girls, announced the expansion of their ‘She Feeds the World’ programme in India.
Aimed to address gender inequality in the agriculture sector, the programme was launched in the presence of Sobhandeb Chattopadhyay, Minister for Agriculture, Government of West Bengal. Also present at the occasion were Dr Subrata Gupta, IAS, Additional Chief Secretary, Government of West Bengal; Roberto Asevêdo, Chief Corporate Affairs Officer at PepsiCo and Chairman of Board of Directors for the PepsiCo Foundation; Ahmed El Sheikh, President of PepsiCo India; and Puneet Bali, Executive Director, CARE India.
As part of the company’s pep+ (PepsiCo Positive) commitment to Positive Agriculture, ‘She Feeds The World’ focuses on strengthening the role of small-scale women producers through sustainable agriculture training, economic support and by improving linkages, including with the PepsiCo supply chain, to ensure sustainable and stable incomes for the farmer community. In India, the programme will be implemented in the Alipurduar and Cooch Behar districts of West Bengal.
‘She Feeds the World’ will drive impact for women farmers and their families across the three dimensions of a sustainable food system: economic, social and environmental. At the economic level, it will build capacity for small-scale farmers to improve their cultivation practices, increase yield, and diversify livelihood options to generate more sustainable income. Socially, the project will also promote more equitable access to knowledge, resources and inclusive markets for vulnerable farmers. From an environmental perspective, the project will tackle soil, water, biodiversity and carbon footprint issues to minimise the impact on the natural ecosystem.
Through the program’s expansion in India, PepsiCo, the PepsiCo Foundation and CARE aim to reach more than 48,000 women, men and children and indirectly benefit 1,500,000 individuals in West Bengal.
‘She Feeds the World’ will help women farmers build a secure and resilient livelihood with access to nutrition and water by:
- Improving capabilities: Training and resources to improve understanding of financial and digital inclusion and sustainable agricultural practices
- Improving nutrition in communities: Training women participants on nutrition and WASH, celebrating Village Health and Nutrition Days and identifying nutrition champions
- Improving women’s access and control over resources: Hosting workshops for participants on power and gender analysis and gender dialogues
- Multiplying impact for women small-scale producers: Design and development of digital training packages and audio-visual content to highlight and recognise the efforts of participants
Additionally, at the event, the PepsiCo Foundation recognised women farmers through the continuation of the PepsiCo-USAID Women Farmer Economic Empowerment Program in West Bengal. The farmers were acknowledged for their extraordinary work in the field of agriculture and breaking stereotypes in their local communities. The first edition of the awards took place in 2022.
Shri Sobhandeb Chattopadhyay, Minister for Agriculture, Government of West Bengal said, “West Bengal has been working towards building social security for farmers. Such joint efforts by industry and communities drive true change and are an effective way of creating much-needed awareness around existing resources and opportunities. We are thankful to the PepsiCo Foundation, CARE and USAID for their initiatives in the state which will benefit small-scale women farmers.”
Roberto Asevêdo, Chief Corporate Affairs Officer and Chairman of Board of Directors, PepsiCo Foundation, said, “‘She Feeds the World’ project is a key pillar of our pep+ commitment to spreading regenerative agriculture practices and improving the livelihoods of more than 250,000 people in our agricultural supply chain and communities by 2030. We are proud to continue our partnership with CARE and kickstart this global campaign in West Bengal, India. The programme will further empower women farmers across the region with resources and training.”
Ahmed El Sheikh, President, PepsiCo India, said, “At PepsiCo India, we are focused on bringing farmers into the company’s supply chain, recognising them as farmers, and developing them as entrepreneurs. We have been working and engaging with women farmers in West Bengal, who have been active participants and are breaking gender stereotypes. We are glad to bring ‘She Feeds The World’ to India with CARE, and are confident that such initiatives will further help women farmers build resilient livelihoods.”
Puneet Bali, Executive Director, CARE India, said, “The launch of ‘She Feeds The World’ in India demonstrates CARE, PepsiCo and the PepsiCo Foundation’s commitment to the public-private partnership for Sustainable Agriculture. The programme aims to identify training needs and skills, and empower 1.5 million women farmers in India by improving their capabilities, nutrition in communities, and access to and control over productive resources.”
Subrataa Chakraborty, India Country Director, ILRG said, “At USAID, we believe programs that help increase income for women have a direct impact on entire communities, economies, and countries. Since the launch of ‘Women’s Land Rights and Economic Empowerment’ programme, USAID with PepsiCo India, the PepsiCo Foundation and our partners, have successfully provided training to over 1,500 women farmers. Today we are honoured to recognise women farmers for their extraordinary work in the field of agriculture and we look forward to further impacting more than 300,000 women as part of the programme.”