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
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.
Liberia: Dish racks lead to healthier children
Of the 12 children that 50-year-old Annie Dolo gave birth to, seven are living. The other five died of malaria and measles.
Haiti: Haiti, nine weeks after the earthquake — what happens next
Week 9 post-earthquake: Mercy Corps, like our partners and peers, has been focused on emergency response. We’ve been busy with distributions, Comfort for Kids, water and sanitation provision, and more.
Ethiopia: Protecting Ethiopia's people, animals and environment
We’ve been in the car for a long time in the last couple of days. We’re in Gashamo, a small town in the desert. A couple of days ago we drove for nine hours drive on bumpy sandy tracks from the Somali Region capital of Jijiga.
Indonesia: Now it’s time to trade
"Going to shop for your everyday needs — rice, vegetables, fruit, fish, meat, spices, various food...please visit PASAI TANI!"
Tajikistan: Six days on the road
I'm both exhausted and exhilarated by my six-day journey through the red clay rocky back-roads of Tajikistan's border area with Kyrgyzstan in the Rasht Valley.
Uganda: The tenuous return
Liberia: Grow what you eat, eat what you grow
Liberia: Cocoa, arm wrestling and opportunity
Annie Garfree has six children, three daughters and three sons. Only her boys are currently in school. But she's eager to make sure all of them get an education.
Indonesia: Lasting change
Behavior is hard to change. I know. I’ve tried. Even with support, it’s still extraordinarily difficult to change. To learn new skills. To give up character flaws. To be a better person.