Dr. Derek Yach is Senior Vice President of Global Health and Agriculture Policy at PepsiCo, Inc.

As part of USAID’s 50th Anniversary, the Agency is celebrating Public-Private Partnerships Week October 17-21, 2011 to highlight the mutual benefit that development and business have in establishing public-private partnerships (PPP) and to celebrate the 10th anniversary of the Global Development Alliance (GDA) program.

A Private Sector Perspective on Partnerships in Food Security

This week, as USAID celebrates Public Private Partnership Week, I am reminded how market-based partnerships to promote food security can play an important role in expanding opportunities for smallholder farmers in the developing world. But at the same time, such partnerships can enhance our own business performance and foster long-term growth.

In the private sector, we are constantly seeking ways to create new markets, invest in emerging economies, advance healthy nutrition, ensure environmental sustainability, all while driving the long-term growth and profitability of our companies. Here at PepsiCo, we are proud to have announced a unique, trilateral partnership with USAID and the United Nations World Food Program during the Clinton Global Initiative’s 2011 annual meeting in New York last month. “Enterprise EthioPEA” is a key achievement of the U.S. Government’s Feed the Future initiative, and will help build long-term economic stability for smallholder chickpea farmers in Ethiopia by involving them directly in PepsiCo’s product supply chain. With the expected growth of our business in chickpea-based products such as hummus, we expect to source at least 10 percent of our supply from Ethiopia, which amounts to at least 2,000 tons of chickpea per year. In addition, we see chickpeas as forming the basis of the WFP’s regional emergency feeding programs and a core element in the establishment of local commercial food capabilities.

This partnership is a truly great example of what we at PepsiCo call “Performance with Purpose.” It creates new markets for products and increases yields for farmers while allowing PepsiCo to create healthier, locally sourced foods and beverages that benefit the whole community while driving long-term growth for the company. With so many stakeholders involved, we’re blending collaboration, know-how, expertise, and resources to benefit local communities and global consumers. It’s a win-win situation.

Last year, USAID Administrator Rajiv Shah said that “private sector companies can bring fresh perspectives to addressing the principal development challenges of our day.” Companies like PepsiCo can certainly bring fresh perspectives and viewpoints to the table, but the private sector alone cannot change the world. Partnerships, collaboration, and knowledge exchange between the private and public sector, as well as civil society, is what will truly help solve development challenges and benefit communities worldwide.

Visit www.usaid.gov/pppweek for continuous updates and new announcements, and to view a live-stream of the October 20th Partnership Forum: The Strategic Value of Connecting Business & Development