PepsiCo, better known for cola and chips than healthy legumes, is joining forces with the United Nation’s World Food Programme and US Agency for International Development to launch EthioPEA, a program that aims to increase chickpea production in Ethiopia. The project’s goals are to enable 10,000 Ethiopian farmers to double their chickpea yield with modernized agricultural practices, strengthen the nation’s economy with greater chickpea exports, and develop the legume into a locally sourced, nutrient-rich food supplement. If initial testing of the supplement is successful, the company will spend $1 million to buy the product and distribute it to 40,000 malnourished children over the course of one year. The company also plans to use the program as a means of securing a supply of chickpeas for Sabra hummus, which it co-owns with Israel’s Strauss Group Inc, as well as for a potential chickpea-based product to eventually sell in Ethiopian stores. Unfortunately, the program will not be able to sufficiently resolve the devastating famine currently affecting Africa.
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