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
Guatemala: Worth The Wait
Alta Verapaz, Guatemala — Machetes are ubiquitous here in rural Guatemala, and Valeriano wields his expertly as he slashes away at weeds on his hillside field.
Guatemala: It Begins With Land
To most rural Guatemalans, land means everything.
DR Congo: Rainstorms, Lava and a Human Flood
I recently watched as the rain fell for hours over Goma. From the comfort of a house, rain in tropical Africa is spectacular, even magic. But for the thousands displaced Congolese waiting out the storm in their twenty-four square foot huts made of sticks and banana leaves, it is hell.
China: Finding Hope on the Side of the Road
One day as 40-year-old Guo Peiling was rummaging around the neighborhood for his recycling business, he found a school for his youngest daughter.
China: Planting Day
For many families throughout the world, the spring days when family gardens are planted are a cherished annual tradition. As seeds are sown, loved ones take time to talk, laugh and share thoughts. With any luck, the food grown in the family plot will nourish them later that year.
China: Perfect Harmony Family
China: Both Ends of the Long Road
It is a long road between southwestern China’s myriad green hillocks and the congested outskirts of the country’s teeming cities.
Indonesia: Aceh: Rising from War and Disaster
The Indian Ocean tsunami quite literally shook the world. The magnitude 9.3 earthquake that spawned its catastrophic waves was the second most powerful on record. The waves traveled with such force that, seven hours after the earthquake, they killed almost 300 people on Somalia's coast.
Indonesia: Empowerment Through Gardening
The women of Mirik Lamreudup village are not only winning awards for their organic agriculture, but sharing their newfound success with other women in the area. Most of them are survivors of the Indian Ocean tsunami. All of them have made great strides in the last three years.
Somalia: Shoring Up Riverbanks - and Confidence
Bandarjadid, Somalia — Driving off-road toward this riverside village, there are hints of its past glory: the rusted remains of a tractor, a long-abandoned granary.