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.
Mongolia: Oasis in the Gobi Desert
[Editor's note: This story was prepared by Layton Croft, Program Director for Information Systems with the Gobi Regional Economic Growth Initiative. Other stories he has written about the positive impact partnerships and information have played in Mongolia’s rural development.]
Mongolia: Harbinger of Prosperity in the Gobi Region
Afghanistan: Gates Foundation sends relief to Afghanistan
The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation is providing $300,000 for Mercy Corps’ Afghan Drought Relief and Rehabilitation project.
North Korea: US/Canadian Aid to North Korea
Mercy Corps Participates in Global Food Program
Mongolia: Mercy Corps To Help Rural Mongolians With $4.4 Million Program
Mercy Corps has been selected by the Government of Mongolia to receive and sell 40,000 metric tons of wheat donated by the US Department of Agriculture.
North Korea: 10,000 Trees in Flight to North Korea
A consortium of Oregon-based businesses, nonprofit organizations and a public agency have joined together in "Operation Appleseed," a humanitarian mission to assist hunger-stricken North Korea.