Part of a wider initiative in six countries powered by an $18.2 million donation from the PepsiCo Foundation in March, the program will operate in Peru over three years with $3.5 million to benefit 412,000 women farmers and their families in the coastal regions of Piura, Ica and Lima.
PepsiCo chose to implement the program in Peru because of the opportunities to develop nutritional access and gender equality in rural areas, the company says. The grant will provide education, resources and economic support to help women farmers to increase their crop yields, incomes and access to nutrition locally.
“As an agro-industrial company, PepsiCo has a great commitment to Peruvian agriculture. What we are looking for as a result of this donation is to improve food and nutrition security by empowering women, increasing productive resources, boosting access to markets, improving nutrition rates and multiplying impact,” said Luis Montoya, president of PepsiCo Latin America Beverages.
Over half of rural farmers in the country are female, according to Peru’s Ministry of Agriculture, but only three out of 10 own land. When they do own land, women farmers produce less because their plots are considerably smaller than those of men. Other barriers to accessing resources and services also affect production capacity.
"The situation of rural women leaves much to be desired: access to land ownership is quite limited, access to credit is almost impossible. They also do not have equal access to public services as men, such as education and health care or infrastructure, such as water and sanitation,” says the National Association of Organic Producers of Peru.
Winning with purpose
To date, PepsiCo’s grant is the largest private sector donation to the She Feeds the World Program, which aims to benefit 50 million women and their families in developing countries, where women represent almost half of all agricultural labor.
The donation is part of the company’s corporate vision Winning with Purpose to contribute to improve the sustainability of the supply chain, especially for women.
“This partnership is part of a broader effort by PepsiCo to support a more sustainable food system by empowering women in its own agricultural supply chain, including through its Sustainable Farming Program currently active in 38 countries, and by investing in multisector agricultural programs that have the potential to achieve systems change at scale,” the company says.
The multinational last invested in sustainable projects in Peru, giving $5 million to the Inter-American Development Bank’s AquaFund in 2016 for clean water and sanitation projects in rural communities in the region.