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
Simple is sustainable
Looking at the simple and inexpensive — yet powerful — ways to help on our Home page, I’m reminded how needlessly complicated humanitarian assistance can become.
Agriculture for Development
Uganda: Rain, rain, come and stay
This morning at 5 am I rolled over in bed and grumpily wondered why I had woken up. My bad mood was washed away as I realized what had roused me from sleep. A low distant rumble, the soft sound of a slight drizzle on the tin roof of the guest house in Pader — it was raining!
Tajikistan: A fragile peace is shaken
A global partnership to end hunger
Today’s announcement of a new $3.5-billion investment in agriculture programs over a three-year period demonstrates the Obama administration's leadership on ending global hunger.
Petition to fight world hunger
More than one billion people went to bed hungry last night. Chances are they will go to bed hungry tonight as well — even though the world produces enough food to feed every man, woman and child in the world.
Afghanistan: Renewing a family’s dream of land
Kosovo: More than run-of-the-mill progress
The village of Milosheva is a pastoral community of 10,000 residents in the heart of central Kosovo's agricultural lands. It is a typical Kosovo village: still recovering from the conflict of 1999, with high unemployment and few income-earning opportunities for residents.
Tajikistan: From tomatoes to empowerment
While we’re spending this month focused entirely on the transport and distribution of wheat flour, lentils and oil to nearly 5,000 women, it’s actually a small component of USAID and Mercy Corps’ Single Year Assistance Program (SYAP) here.
The multiplier effect of wine
I have to admit, one of my favorite field visits involved moderate intoxication, plates of sausage and gales of hearty laughter.