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
Iraq: Mending livelihoods and catching hope in southern Iraq
Hassan Sabri is a 33-year-old fisherman, and one of the beneficiaries of a recently-completed Mercy Corps Iraq livelihoods project. Our team provided nets to poverty-stricken fishermen in Al Bihar sub-district, which is located 90 kilometers away from the southern city of Basra.
Ethiopia: Helping ensure that Ethiopian herders don't lose everything
Indonesia: Kid-friendly food carts take on child malnutrition
The slums of Jakarta, Indonesia are home to some of the poorest families in Asia. The city — one of the largest metropolitan areas in the world, with more than 28 million people — has dozens of such places, where thousands of people live cramped in close quarters.
Kenya: Solitary herder outside Hadado, Kenya
A traditional herder stands on the withered landscape outside the drought-stricken town of Hadado, Kenya.
Ethiopia: Stitching land back together in drought-hit Ethiopia
The land in Lacole, part of the Oromo Region in southeast Ethiopia, looks like it’s literally been torn apart.
Georgia: Cash cows: On the ground with Georgia's dairy industry
My cab driver was yelling something that sounded like "khows, khows!" I hadn't the faintest idea what he was talking about until I saw the spotted figures in the distance and realized he was saying "cows."
Guatemala: Fresher food, better nutrition, happier families
In the northern highlands of Guatemala, the signs and symptoms of malnutrition are a common sight: stunted growth, underweight bodies and visible fatigue.
Indonesia: Retooling Mentawai and helping it grow again
Indonesia's Mentawai Islands have a very hot and arid climate but, because of high rainfall and minimal pests, it is great for agriculture. When the tsunami hit last October, Mentawai residents ran from the waves with only the clothes on their backs. Most tools and crops were lost.
Kenya: Lifesaving relief for families in northeastern Kenya
“People here are falling down in masses ... it will be too late to do anything if we don't act now,” our emergency response leader in northeastern Kenya just told me on a phone call.
Indonesia: Joining the fanfare: a visit to the RW Siaga Plus+ program
I found myself being swept along with the wave of elementary students marching in the streets. Although at first I didn’t know the words to the song they were singing, I soon learned and sang along.