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
Nicaragua: Lush mountains and lofty goals
Julio Obeguedo is determined to reach the top of the coffee world. He's also resolved to lift other local farmers to that lofty goal.
Nicaragua: Re-inventing tradition
Magdeleno Benavides' path is a difficult one. After fifteen minutes of hiking, he arrives at the amazingly perilous slope where he's planted coffee under a grove of indigenous trees.
Nicaragua: An integrated farm brings new independence in Nicaragua
The coffee crisis has meant harder times for Birgina Morales and her family. Her husband has grown coffee all his life, and his father before him. Most of their meager livelihood came from the coffee harvest each year.
Nicaragua: Hatching a new plan
Adelina Aguileres doesn't put all her eggs in one basket. Instead, she shares the load with several other women in her area.
Mongolia: Hard Work and Smiles for the Family of the Weeping Camel
Throughout the Gobi and much of Mongolia, the Bactrian Camel (the two-humped version) is ubiquitous. It has become an emblem for tourists and locals alike.
Afghanistan: New Opportunities in a Fertile Land
In Helmand Province, opportunities for women are slim. Culturally-prescribed gender roles restrict their movement outside of their households and villages, limit their access to education and economic options and hinder their positive contributions to civil society at many levels.
North Korea: Mercy Corps sends 100,000 apple tree rootstocks to North Korea
Mercy Corps' ongoing Apple Tree Project was launched in 2000 and has been recognized as a model program for sustainable agricultural development in that country.
Afghanistan: Hatching a New Business
Name: Fawzia Mohammad HazanAge: 35Location: District 7, Kabul (Afghanistan) Over the din of hundreds of cheeping little chicks, Fawzia explains the business plan for her newly launched chick farm.
Mercy Corps Sends NW Grain to Drought-Stricken Eritrea
Afghanistan: A Silver Lining in Northeastern Afghanistan
A Mercy Corps project that got off to a disappointing start in Kunduz Province finished with remarkable results.