BakeryandSnack Chat Podcast: PepsiCo partners with CARE to tackle the gender gap in farming

By Gill Hyslop contact

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags: gender equality, CARE, humanitarian aid, She Feeds the World, Sustainability, Closing the Crop Gap, The PepsiCo Foundation, farming, Women

The PepsiCo Foundation is collaborating with humanitarian organization CARE to tackle gender inequality in the agriculture sector with an $18.2m investment in She Feeds the World.

She Feeds the World is the largest food and nutrition security program in CARE’s 70-year history, benefitting 50 million female farmers and their families in the developing world.

Research has found that, if female farmers had the same access to resources as men, they could potentially reducing the number of hungry people in the world by up to 150 million.

The PepsiCo Foundation’s grant will help five million women farmers and their families in Egypt, Guatemala, India, Nigeria, Peru and Uganda access resources – including land rights, finance and agricultural inputs such as seeds and fertilizers – develop skills to increase their crop yields and build sustainable farms, and access better nutrition.

The power of women

Mary Twinomujunworks in the field in the Kyankunyule Village, located in Uganda’s most undernourished district Photo by Josh Estey CARE
Mary Twinomujunworks in the field in the Kyankunyule Village, located in Uganda’s most undernourished district. Pic: Josh Estey/CARE

Women account for nearly half of all agricultural labor in developing countries and work as much as 13 hours more per week than men, often without training, proper tools and rights to their land.

However, research has found that, if female farmers had the same access to resources as men, they could increase their yields by 20%-30%, potentially reducing the number of hungry people in the world by up to 150 million.

The partnership is part of a broader effort by PepsiCo to support a more sustainable food system through its Sustainable Farming Program currently active in 38 countries.

BakeryandSnacks talks to Erin Thomas, senior director at The PepsiCo Foundation, and Margaret Henry, director of sustainable agriculture at PepsiCo, to find out more about the snack giant’s philanthropic efforts.

“Agriculture is at the core of what PepsiCo does and what we know and it’s how we want to help improve the world in so many different ways. There are so many farmers in our supply chain where we’ve seen the opportunity to really change gender empowerment by engaging with them,”​ said Henry.

Thomas added that CARE is such a proud partner of The PepsiCo Foundation.

PepsiCo women farmer FTP Edelman
Doña Juana collecting dried beans on her farm in the Quiché Dry Corridor in Guatemala, which has experienced several consecutive years of drought. Pic: Caroline Joe/CARE

“They are a leading humanitarian organization that has been fighting poverty around the world since 1945,”​ she said.

“What is unique from my perspective and PepsiCo’s about CARE is the special emphasis they place on working with women and girls with a fundamental belief that equipping women and girls with resources has the power to lift families and entire communities out of poverty.”

In 2018, CARE’s footprint extended to 95 countries, reaching more than 56 million people.

“We, at The PepsiCo Foundation, share that belief,”​ added Thomas.

Vote for your favorite

PepsiCo women farmers
Efulazia Ticindimunda peels bananas in the Kigando Village in Uganda, which faces high rates of poverty and malnutrition. Pic: Josh Estey/CARE

PepsiCo has also partnered with CARE to launch Closing the Crop Gap, which gives women a platform to tell their own stories about the challenges they face in agriculture.

The campaign features five videos – focussing on women farmers in India, Egypt, Guatemala, Poland and the US – that were created by female videographers from the same regions.

Consumers are invited to vote for their favorite video,​ and in exchange, receive a credit for a kiva microloan that can be used to benefit other female entrepreneurs.

The videographer who receives the most votes will be invited to create an extended, three-part docuseries that explores the experiences of women in agriculture.

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