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.
Niger: The hidden survivors of the hunger gap
Every year, millions of people in Niger have to figure out how they will survive between harvests. This is what they look like.
PHOTOS: Kitchens around the world
In every corner of the world, food brings people together. But where we cook and gather looks different for each one of us, depending on where we live and what we've been through.
Uganda: Fighting hunger, one garden at a time
Women in rural Uganda are finding a simple solution to the big problem of hunger: kitchen gardens.
Ethiopia, Niger, South Sudan: Fighting hunger in Africa takes more than food
Hunger: It’s not a new problem for many countries in Africa. However, the reasons why millions of people go hungry go much deeper than a lack of food.
Lebanon: Economic stability in Lebanon helps both Lebanese and Syrian refugees
The Bekaa Valley is a picturesque, fertile valley in east Lebanon. Situated about 30 kilometers east of the capital Beirut, it is Lebanon's most important farming region.
Liberia: Emergency funds lift families up after Ebola
Markets and livelihoods came to a halt when the worst outbreak of Ebola in history swept through West Africa. Find out how cash is helping hard-hit families get back on their feet.
Guatemala: Tea and spice growers working for healthier futures
Growing tea ingredients is a precarious livelihood. That's why we've worked with Tazo Tea over the last decade to support farming communities in India and Guatemala. Meet a few people who now have a brighter future.
Mali: A better life grows from four tons of potatoes
After an extended period of drought and conflict, Fatoumata was having trouble making ends meet. Learn how we’re helping her harvest more food and provide for her family.
Nepal: Taking a risk on ginger
Santu had a bountiful ginger farm, until one year she lost it all to disease. Learn how we helped her overcome challenges and build back even stronger.
Uganda: A tiny seed transforms a community
Better training is boosting incomes for sesame-growing families in Uganda. Meet one couple who is investing in their future.