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
Indonesia: From pushing a pedicab to steering a healthy food cart
His name is Gunanto, or Gun for short. He's 32 years old with two school-aged children. His wife works as a laundry laborer in their Jakarta neighborhood and earns 150,000 Indonesian rupiah — about US$15 — per month.
Central African Republic: Baking a better future in Africa
In the impoverished Central African Republic, we're finding ways to help women like Edwige feed her family by expanding their economic opportunities.
Ethiopia: How did Mercy Corps turn rain from foe back to friend in Ethiopia?
Ethiopia has long struggled with food insecurity. With generous support from USAID, Mercy Corps has just completed the first year of a three-year effort to improve food security in some of Ethiopia’s most vulnerable regions.
Afghanistan: Almonds for Afghanistan: A farmer tries his hand at a high-value crop
I picked my way gingerly though the rows of young, green wheat as our host, farmer Ahmed Shah*, the Mercy Corps project manager and a few agriculture experts strode ahead across the field.
Indonesia: Be sincere to get more
Liberia: On market day in Gio Town, farmers learn a new way to extract palm oil
Wednesday is market day in Gio Town, a small village in Liberia’s Grand Bassa County. By mid-morning the stalls are crowded with vendors and shoppers.
Liberia: A sweet business: Cocoa brings new hope to Liberian farmers
Liberia is a lush tropical rainforest, just the right climate to grow cocoa beans. And before the country’s two civil wars, it did just that.
Afghanistan: Irrigation canal saves 600 Afghan households
Ortabuz is a small village in the east of Afghanistan’s Takhar Province. At least 600 families are living in this small and green village. The people of Ortabuz are mostly farmers and each family have one or two jerib — about one-half to one full acre — of land for planting of crops.
Liberia: Redefining success: My journey to Liberia
Glance down a deeply rutted Monrovia side street and you may see, at the end of the block, a glimpse of palm trees, sandy coastline and the rolling ocean. Blink, and you may briefly imagine you’re in Mexico or another beachy getaway.
Liberia: Changing her life with goats
Victoria Dannies, 33, is divorced, with three daughters and two sons. Thanks to the training she received in Mercy Corps’ Youth Education for Life Skills (YES) program, she’s able to take good care of herself and her children.