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: Master Trainers
On the inhospitable border, nicknamed "No Man's Land", between Pakistan and Afghanistan, a husband and wife team is working to improve the lives of Afghan refugee families flowing to and from Pakistan. Parveen and Syed Safdar are Master Trainers for Mercy Corps.
In Uruzgan, a destitute province in southern Afghanistan, the local people define "rich" as "possessing a two-months supply of food." The worst drought in living memory and 22 years of ongoing war has left this region in ruins.
Tajikistan: A Better Day
The Behruz farm in Hozamalik, just outside of the Tajikistan capital, Dushanbe, is appropriately named. Behruz means a "better day" in Tajik, and, thanks in part to a Mercy Corps program, a better day is exactly what this farm is seeing.
Pakistan: Hope Springs Eternal
Kosovo: Finding common ground in Kosovo
Caring for bees is more than just a job or a hobby to Metush Maxuti. It is his passion. Maxuti, a beekeeper and head of The Beekeepers Association in Cernica, Kosovo, believes that people living in Kosovo can learn an important lesson from the insects he loves.
Afghanistan: A Class Project Worthy of High Marks
This is one class assignment that the students in Mr. McElroy's third-grade class at Alameda Elementary School in Portland, Oregon would not mind repeating.
Afghanistan: Rice, roads and little bit of hope
"It is an impressive sight," enthuses Engineer Saddiq of Mercy Corps' Taloqan office.
Mongolia: Livelihoods Destroyed as 800,000 Livestock Perish in Mongolia—Emergency Relief Efforts Underway
Extraordinarily harsh winter weather in Mongolia has killed more than 800,000 animals - the cattle, horses, goats and camels that many nomadic Mongolians rely on for survival.
Pakistan: Field Update: Mercy Corps Preparing Large Refugee Transition Near Pakistan Border
Mongolia: Market Watch Keeping Herders in Mongolia Informed