Agricultural improvements have yielded tremendous results, decreasing the number of undernourished people by 167 million in the last ten years alone. However, these improvements have often been made by increasing the amount of land under cultivation – a practice that cannot continue indefinitely. Agricultural expansion has also come at a price: soil erosion, deforestation and water pollution – compounded by higher and more volatile global temperatures – have already begun to reduce agricultural productivity. For this reason, Mercy Corps works to ensure agro-systems around the world are economically productive, nutritionally diverse and efficient – both today and in the future.
We help smallholder farmers – farmers with less than 1 hectare of land – and pastoralists develop their production capacity so they can increase productivity and weather environmental shocks and stresses. We also focus on improving agriculture-related products and services by working with traders, input suppliers, processors and government bodies. And our holistic approach extends further – to improving the nutrition of people who consume agricultural products. This might mean increasing a crop's nutritional value by improving how crops are harvested, stored and transported. We also work with families to help them diversify the crops they grow and educating communities about the benefits and conditions of good nutrition.
All stories about Agriculture
Niger: Responding to Niger’s latest hunger crisis
Five years ago, Mercy Corps responded to a catastrophic food crisis in Niger that put more than 3.5 million people at risk of malnutrition and starvation. Today, Niger is facing potentially worse food shortages — and Mercy Corps is again readying a lifesaving response.
Afghanistan: Greening Afghanistan
I’m just going to say it — people think of Afghanistan as a pile of rocks. I see where the mental image comes from; photos on the news do seem to showcase the sand and rocks in their effort to capture the grittiness of soldiers at war. But I know an Afghanistan of a different color: green.
North Korea: Seeding apple orchards
Throughout the past 12 years Mercy Corps has been investing in the establishment of diverse, healthy apple orchards in South Hwangae Province as a means of improving the domestic nutritional food-basket.
Mongolia: D-z-u-d spells "disaster" for Mongolian herders
Ever heard of a "dzud"? It's pronounced zuhd, and it's an extraordinarily harsh Mongolian winter -- the kind where temperatures plummet, animals freeze to death, and you can enter your house only through the roof because that's how high the snow is.
Guatemala: Travels in Alta Verapaz
It's raining again in Coban, Guatemala. Driving out to visit some communities, we come upon the apparently eternal landslide bleeding from the rain the night before, and washing out the road with its rust-red mud and boulders.
Indonesia: From pushing a pedicab to steering a healthy food cart
His name is Gunanto, or Gun for short. He's 32 years old with two school-aged children. His wife works as a laundry laborer in their Jakarta neighborhood and earns 150,000 Indonesian rupiah — about US$15 — per month.
Central African Republic: Baking a better future in Africa
In the impoverished Central African Republic, we're finding ways to help women like Edwige feed her family by expanding their economic opportunities.
Ethiopia: How did Mercy Corps turn rain from foe back to friend in Ethiopia?
Ethiopia has long struggled with food insecurity. With generous support from USAID, Mercy Corps has just completed the first year of a three-year effort to improve food security in some of Ethiopia’s most vulnerable regions.
Afghanistan: Almonds for Afghanistan: A farmer tries his hand at a high-value crop
I picked my way gingerly though the rows of young, green wheat as our host, farmer Ahmed Shah*, the Mercy Corps project manager and a few agriculture experts strode ahead across the field.
Indonesia: Be sincere to get more