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
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
Nepal: Where the river brings life, it can also bring death
Krishna Bahadur Giri is standing thigh-deep in the swollen Mohana River, studying the best place to cross. The road we were going to use is washed out; Plan B is to turn our Jeep into an amphibious vehicle.
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.