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.
Kyrgyzstan: Nourishing success in rural communities
In mountainous Kyrgyzstan, we're helping people from the field to the classroom get the resources they need to build healthy, productive lives.
Kyrgyzstan: Meet our field staff: Alexander and Bakhtiyar
Alexander Kirillov and Bakhtiyar Ergashev have been part of our team in Kyrgyzstan since we began work there 20 years ago. Today, they're leading the fight against hunger and malnutrition in the country.
Guatemala: Coffee farmers facing hunger, damaged livelihoods
An epidemic of coffee leaf rust is putting vulnerable families in Guatemala at increased risk of food insecurity.
Niger: Santou's story
Recurring droughts in West Africa make it difficult for Santou to grow enough food to feed her family. Find out how a pair of goats has changed her life.
China: Progress report: Rebuilding communities one year after quake
One year after an earthquake devastated rural China, we're looking back on the recovery effort and looking ahead toward long-term rebuilding.
Niger: Food crisis looming: Hawa's fight against hunger
Severe food shortages caused by recurring drought are again threatening millions of people in West Africa.
Yemen: Food gives a family hope for the future
Yemen is one of the most food insecure countries in the world. Learn how our emergency food program helps families like Ayesha's find relief from hunger and malnutrition.
Yemen: Entrepreneurs play a key role in fighting malnutrition
How do you help the hungry eat now and have enough food for the future? Lessons from our food voucher program in Yemen.
Ethiopia: From hungry to healthy: Saving children in the Horn of Africa
In the two years since famine ravaged East Africa, our mobile health teams have helped feed more than 70,000 malnourished mothers and children.
Uganda: Meet our field staff: Vicky
We all hear the statistics: When girls are given the same access to education as boys, the impact on their communities is immense. Vicky Lodia is a living, breathing testament to the numbers.