USAID and PepsiCo Egypt/Chipsy Renew Partnership to Bolster Agritech Adoption in Egypt
The global agritech market is evolving at a belligerent pace, thanks to rapid advancements in life sciences. The combined power of data science, Drones / Autonomous vehicles, AI and Machine Learning and robotics have ushered a new revolution in agritech (Agriculture technology).
In a major announcement, the United States has picked Chipsy for Food Industries, owned by PepsiCo, to expand agritech efforts in Africa for the next two years.
As part of the deal, over the next two years, USAID and Chipsy for Food Industries will expand activities to farmers in the Menoufia and Minya governorates and plan to reach 2,500 farmers by 2023.
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More Details About the Agritech Deal with PepsiCo
PepsiCo Egypt also positively impacts Egypt’s farming communities through initiatives such as its locally-grown seeds program, which enables the company to produce 100% locally sourced potato chips.
The U.S. government, through the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) and Chipsy for Food Industries, a PepsiCo Egypt company, renewed a partnership that boosts the productivity of farmers and builds a more transparent and sustainable potato supply chain. U.S. Ambassador Jonathan Cohen, PepsiCo Egypt CEO Mohamed Shelbaya, USAID Mission Director Leslie Reed, and PepsiCo Regional Manager for Sustainable Agriculture Reuben Blackie participated.
At the time of this announcement, Mohamed Shelbaya, CEO of PepsiCo Egypt said: “For 70 years, developing the agricultural sector has been, and will continue to be one of our top priorities. We have been working closely with the smallholder farmers who are the cornerstone of our agriculture business to develop their capabilities to meet global standards of quality and productivity. Today, we are honored to renew our cooperation with USAID to improve the livelihoods of the smallholder Egyptian farmers by providing them with the technical know-how and the sustainable agriculture practices, to include these farmers in Chipsy’s supply chain.”
Adoption of Agritech Key to Enhance Food Supply and Quality Production
Agritech vendors are popping up fast in the technology power centers in the US and Asia. However, despite massive disruptions in the AI technology, we are yet to see any sizeable impact on the farming sector. The integration of various agritech tools with existing Cloud and Software suites might hold the key to the future of farming techniques.
The partnership empowers Egyptian smallholder farmers to establish reliable market linkages, increase crop quality and yields, and progress toward internationally recognized standards for sustainable agriculture. During the first year of the partnership, farmers received training and technical recommendations on good agricultural practices, such as the targeted use of irrigation and fertilizer. As a result, in the 2019/2020 growing season, hundreds of farmers in Beni Suef significantly increased quality and yield and cut costs, tripling profits.
U.S. Ambassador Jonathan Cohen noted: “This partnership is helping farmers to increase their incomes and improve the well-being of their families.”
Using the agritech solutions, farmers can automate their efforts to measure their level of farming tool efficiency, quality of production, soil testing, and improve the entire ecosystem for farmers and cultivators in the neighboring states. The focus in agritech remains on these –
“how to increase soil productivity without damaging the ecosystem?”; and
“How to generate sustainable profit from every acre of cultivable farmland available to small scale farmers?”
Over the next two years, USAID and Chipsy for Food Industries will expand activities to farmers in the Menoufia and Minya governorates and plan to reach 2,500 farmers by 2023. Ultimately, Chipsy plans to use this model throughout its entire smallholder supply chain in Egypt.
This partnership is part of the U.S. government’s ongoing support to Egypt’s agricultural sector, which is helping farmers in Upper Egypt become more self-reliant by establishing connections to domestic and international markets, gaining access to finance, and increasing adherence to food and safety practices.
Since 1978, the American people have invested over $30 billion to further support Egypt’s economic development.
In a nutshell, the agritech market in Africa, especially in Egypt, is slated to grow faster than SaaS and iPaas markets, even as AI companies are beginning to target Asia and Africa primarily to help farmers enhance the productivity of their crops, and cultivation.
U.S. Embassy – Cairo, Egypt