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
Somalia: Will the U.S. stand by as famine looms in Somalia?
"The drought has gotten so bad that we have seen camels dying of thirst," recounted a Mercy Corps colleague during my recent visit to Somalia.
South Sudan: South Sudan - The birth of a nation
Mercy Corps began programs in South Sudan in 2004 to help devastated communities rebuild after decades of civil war. As South Sudan declares its independence from the north, Mercy Corps staff looks at the progress the people have made in the past six years.
Indonesia: Saving for the future, one coffee harvest at a time
Guatemala: "Broadcasting" important health and nutrition news in rural Guatemala
Each time I showed up to small and faraway communities where the heat was unbearable, where there was no electricity to turn on a light bulb, where there was no wind to ease the heat in the air — and where the field workers were parking their motorcycles and placing their gear on the dried grass
Ethiopia: Tackling water poverty
India: Chipping in to help India's farmers grow potatoes
When you mention potatoes, most Americans would think “Idaho.” Few would think the Kashmir Valley in the Himalaya Mountains. But Mercy Corps did. In 2010, Mercy Corps supported an experiment growing seed potatoes in the upper regions of the Kashmir Valley.
Guatemala: Molding more than corn — molding nutrition
One of Guatemala's main staple foods is corn — in fact, Guatemalans sometimes even refer to themselves as “corn people.” One of the traditional ways to consume corn here is in the form of tortillas.
Guatemala: Mercy Corps Guatemala program featured in USAID Frontlines magazine
USAID's Frontlines magazine recently showcased Mercy Corps Guatemala’s Innovative Market Alliance for Rural Entrepreneurs (IMARE) program through the personal story of Delma Gomez, one of t
Guatemala: Farmers find new markets
Indonesia: Water flows and greens grow
Thanks to the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Mercy Corps´ hygiene promotion, livelihood, water and sanitation programs are improving living conditions for those living in displacement camps on Indonesia's Mentawai