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: Farmers Celebrate Their First Post-Tsunami Rice Harvest
Kosovo: Living and working together in Kosovo
Nedzat Cecunjanin, a young man from the village of Vitomirice/a, lived side by side with his Albanian neighbors prior to the 1999 war. The nearby town of Peja/Pec in west Kosovo was one of the most devastated areas in all of Kosovo in the spring of 1999.
Niger: Famine in Niger: Millions at Risk
More than 3.5 million people — including nearly one million children — in the West African nation of Niger are suffering from severe hunger and could die of starvation soon. You can act immediately to ensure lives are saved.
Lebanon: Filling Healthy Baskets
India: Bright Shades of Green
Piryakootai, India - With every step, the people of Piryakootai are reminded of ocean waves that deluged their village over six months ago.
China: Working Together to Fight Poverty
Two hours into Matthew De Galan’s presentation on non-profit fundraising, his audience is surprisingly lively and attentive. “How do you demonstrate value to donors?” one wants to know. “How often should you report back to supporters on your progress?” asks another.
China: Growing Economies in China
Behind the headlines about China’s double-digit Gross Domestic Product growth and thriving middle class, there is a more complicated story of entire regions that continue to live in desperate poverty.
China: Reaching New Heights
Fuan, a bustling coastal city of three million people, appears to have a lot going for it: plentiful natural resources, an important military base and a major trading partner just across the water.
India: Partnering for Families in Coastal India
Mercy Corps is restoring livelihoods and ensuring a better, more secure future for many of the estimated 890,000 tsunami-affected residents of the southeastern state of Tamil Nadu.
'Without These Animals ...'
The second guide on my journey was Dr. Frewengel Semereab, the manager of Mercy Corps' busy agriculture team since September 2002. An enigmatic man and philosopher, Frewengel professes a deepening admiration for existing community customs since beginning this ‘social work.'