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
North Korea: Demystifying our work in North Korea
In North Korea, Mercy Corps programs focus on alleviating hunger by expanding agricultural production. We also invite North Korean officials to the U.S. as part of building a humanitarian bridge between our country and theirs.
Afghanistan: Losing some preconceptions in Afghanistan
I should know by now, but the important lessons are always worth repeating. Although blessed with the opportunity to travel often, I packed a lot of preconceptions when I set out for Afghanistan; this country that dominates our headlines but whose people we know so little.
Kosovo: Making the economy buzz
Ali Rama is a 50-year-old beekeeper from the Vushtri Municipality in northern Kosovo. While Ali has enjoyed relative success in his honey production and sales for the last 10 years, he was looking to expand his business into new opportunities.
Kosovo: How a tractor changes everything
The village of Videja is a rural community of 1,000 residents near the Dukagjini Valley, the heart of western Kosovo's agricultural lands.
Kosovo: Not small potatoes
Naim Fejza is a veteran potato farmer in the small town of Mogila in southern Kosovo. For his entire adult life, he and his household — which includes his parents, wife and three children — have eked out a living on the small income from the sales of potatoes on their farm.
Uganda: In northern Uganda, hope springs eternal
As the brutal twenty-year civil war in Uganda has unofficially ended, many non-governmental organizations (NGOs) have exited Pader — a district in the country’s northern Acholiland — which was for many years at the epicenter of atrocities committed by the rebel Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA).
Indonesia: "Is it healthy food or not?"
“Why, lately, has my child been commenting on the food that I cook, asking if is it healthy food or not?” was a mother's question. Yulaita, the principal of Aisyiyah Suka Ramai Kindergarten in Aceh recalls hearing the question — she's also been hearing similar question from her child.
Niger: Responding to Niger’s latest hunger crisis
Five years ago, Mercy Corps responded to a catastrophic food crisis in Niger that put more than 3.5 million people at risk of malnutrition and starvation. Today, Niger is facing potentially worse food shortages — and Mercy Corps is again readying a lifesaving response.
Afghanistan: Greening Afghanistan
I’m just going to say it — people think of Afghanistan as a pile of rocks. I see where the mental image comes from; photos on the news do seem to showcase the sand and rocks in their effort to capture the grittiness of soldiers at war. But I know an Afghanistan of a different color: green.
North Korea: Seeding apple orchards
Throughout the past 12 years Mercy Corps has been investing in the establishment of diverse, healthy apple orchards in South Hwangae Province as a means of improving the domestic nutritional food-basket.