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
Nepal: Janaki Bhatta in Samaijee village, Nepal
With support from a Mercy Corps program funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation Global Food Crisis Response, Janaki is working hard to make her farm more productive.
Nepal: To combat hunger, Janaki learns new ways to grow, store and sell
I’m pretty sure Bill Gates hasn’t met Janaki Bhatta. But I’m just as sure he’d see in her a kindred spirit — a feisty entrepreneur who’s taking some smart steps to increase her yields of aloo (potato) and audha (ginger) — and the income she earns from them.
India: Shubina, the bee-keeper of Kashmir
The upper Kashmir Valley, lined by the foothills of the Himalayas, is an idyllic spot for raising honeybees. Saffron and mustard flowers, apple blossoms and acacia blanket the valley.
Nepal: Khadga Ramtel in Katwalguan village
Mercy Corps’ Khadga Ramtel, a monitoring and evaluation officer for our agricultural and infrastructure work, talks with women in the village of Katwalguan.
Nepal: When your man goes to India
The Nepali women we’ve been talking to don’t complain. Or not like I imagine most of us would if we were faced with the hardships they endure — on their own — every day. They live a long way from any services or resources.
Nepal: A grueling life on top of the world
Yes, Nepal is so, so beautiful.
Japan: A small and opportune oasis
Right now, the city of Rikuzentakata, Japan is a food desert — a place where it's nearly impossible to find and buy fresh, nutritious food. Grocery stores and other shops were washed away by the tsunami. The closest markets are at least a half-hour away by car.
Kyrgyzstan: Vegetables out of thin air
Sary-Mogol is a very remote village in the Chon-Alai region of southern Kyrgyzstan, located at 3,000 meters above sea level.
Libya: Mercy Corps and Taiwan ICDF provide food assistance in Libya
It’s been almost four months since the unrest in Libya began. Prompted by civilian demonstrations fueled by over 40 years of Gaddafi’s tyrannical rule and looking to bring forth a new regime, the peaceful protests escalated into violence as Gaddafi’s forces quickly tried to squelch the uprising.
Kyrgyzstan: Cash to improve food security in southern Kyrgyzstan
On a recent crisp spring day in Osh, I was milling about one of our distribution sites in the Alymbek-Datka neighborhood, chatting with program participants.