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
Afghanistan: Running Water Uphill
Following Agha Mohammad up the steep slope behind his family farm is not an easy task. While the lean 25-year-old glided up the well-worn path, his hands locked calmly behind his back, I had to stop at least twice to catch my breath.
Kyrgyzstan: Apple Festival Unites Villages of Southern Issyk-Kul
On October 10, 2008, the Association of Orchardists and the Gardens and Plastics (GAP) project held the Third Annual Apple Festival in the village of Kyzyl-Tuu on the southern shore of Lake Issyk-Kul, Kyrgyz Republic
Afghanistan: Afghan women learning skills toward independence
Niger: Fighting malnutrition
Afghanistan: Improving water distribution for farms and orchards
Nepal: Helping Poor Farmers
In Nepal today, more than half the population has no access to even the most basic financial services. In rural areas, farming families are trapped in cycles of debt and are often forced to sell their crops at below market rates, further slipping into poverty.
Myanmar: Kitchen Gardens in Bo Kone
Bo Kone, Myanmar — Life here in Bo Kone, a village of about 1,000 people, has never been easy. Located on an isolated island in the Irrawaddy Delta, it's about an hour's boat ride to the nearest town.
Myanmar: A Welcome Harvest
Bo Kone, Myanmar - It would be hard to overstate the importance of rice to the people of Myanmar's Irrawaddy Delta. Rice is the staple food around which all meals are built. It is the cash crop that fuels the local economy.
Myanmar: Bold Woman Makes a Difference
Yangon, Myanmar - When a massive cyclone pounded Myanmar six months ago, Mra Sabai Nyun knew exactly what she wanted to do.
Myanmar: Navigating Change in the Delta
In early May, Cyclone Nargis tore through Myanmar's Irrawaddy Delta, its merciless rains and 120-mile-an-hour winds destroying hundreds of low-lying villages and killing more than 140,000 people.