Many of us love nothing more than going home to a warm meal, waiting for our hungry taste-buds. And if we’re not feeling like a home-cooked meal today, we’ll go for some fast food. As different as both these meals are, they all came from the same women—the farming women who have fed us for years and will continue to do so for even more.
As these women toil to harvest and indirectly put food on our tables, however, have you wondered just who is out there helping them? Who is making sure they have all the help they need? If so, you’re in the right place to find out—there’s one answer and it starts with PepsiCo Egypt.
The celebration took place in the Beba District of Beni Suef and was attended by CEO of PepsiCo Egypt Mr. Mohamed Shelbaya, Director of CARE International in Egypt Dr. Hazem Fahmy, Consultant to the Minister of Solidarity for Economic Empowerment and Supervisor of Forsa Program Dr. Atef El-Shabrawi, Governor of Beni Suef Dr. Mohamed Hany Ghoneim, and ‘She Feeds the World’ program ambassador and actress Injy El-Mokkadem.
This is all because of PepsiCo Egypt’s implemented program “She Feeds the World”, which has greatly helped the agricultural community of Beba, Beni Suef. Launched in four governorates, this program highlights Egypt’s 2030 Vision by empowering farming women as well as encouraging the spread of gender equality, providing nutritional education, and helping the farmers achieve financial independence through Village Savings and Loan Associations (VSLA).
The program excelled at expanding the beneficiaries’ base, reaching a total of 215 farmers, from which 41 were female farmers who received the technical support. This season PepsiCo Egypt was able to reach a total area of 213 acres of cultivated lands that produce potatoes, reaching nearly 1,200 tons. All of that confirms PepsiCo Egypt’s vision to consolidate and develop its supply chains.
And this improvement we’re talking about is in no way an exaggeration. Ever since the programs’ implementations, farmers have seen an increase in their rate of production, with a 40% increase in 90% of the farmers’ farmland productions, as well as their independence. Accordingly, the participating farmers turned into potato suppliers for the Chipsy Food Industries, and thankfully PepsiCo Egypt won’t suffer from any potato shortage whatsoever.
Owning the second largest agricultural program for potato production at PepsiCo Egypt’s global level, Chipsy Food Industries is home-growing 65% of PepsiCo Egypt’s local needs in Egypt. And this number is expected to reach an all-time high of 80% by 2025, meaning that all Chipsy products will be a 100% farmed in Egypt.
But that’s not all that PepsiCo Egypt is doing here. After launching the “She Feeds the World” program in 2018, PepsiCo Egypt collaborated with CARE Egypt to reach its goal of improving food security and nutrition for 50 million female farmers and their families around the world.
As this program made its way to Egypt, in cooperation with the Ministry of Social Solidarity, its goals became more defined—number one was empowering women of agriculture, followed by supporting their families to access sustainable resources and technical assistance after becoming PepsiCo Egypt suppliers to increase agricultural production, spreading awareness about nutrition, and raising awareness about conserving water.
These programs turned challenges into opportunities and farming women became more empowered and all the farmers, men and women, started their training-focused programs. The program didn’t stop at that—it also ensured that women would be able to get loans from VSLA to reach necessary resources that will help increase their production.
With these programs, all sides of the equation are satisfied whether it be crops or farmers, especially female farmers, who make up the main skeleton of the agricultural sector with 45% of the Egyptian workforce working in the agricultural sector, despite only 13% of the landowners being women.
Moreover, 44 rural community leaders have received training on 10 feeding sessions, in addition to the enrollment of more than 4,100 women in the village savings and loan groups. It is also noteworthy that the total amount of funds has reached EGP 665,000.
With examples like Samah Oweis, who’s seen a 16% production increase, to Zeinab Hendawy, who’s seen a production increase of 46%, it’s clear that things are only changing for the better for the women of the farming community of Beni Suef.
All these success stories and the impact of these programs on the women’s families and lands will be seen by Shelbaya and Injy, who will be talking with 5 female farmers as they work their fields, during the PepsiCo visit.