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Last year we helped over 440,000 people improve their food security and livelihoods

Over 840 million people remain undernourished, despite increases in world food production. Most of the world’s hungry are in rural households, dependent on agriculture or the use of natural resources for their livelihood.

But we have demonstrated that there is an alternative to industrial production of food, that the technologies we have adopted for small-scale, ecologically-sustainable food production can work.

Using our experience in making markets work for the poor, and agricultural policies which have the right to food at their centre, we can achieve technology justice, poverty reduction and sustainability.

Using technology to challenge poverty

Zeer pot fridge

Ceramic fridges use evaporation to keep food fresh and medicine cool in the hottest climates.

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Turning compost into food

Thousands of compost filled holes can transform infertile sandbars into fields rich with pumpkins.

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Multiple use water systems

Constructed with local materials, these systems uses gravity to provide families with enough water to drink and to irrigate their crops

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Donkey ploughs

A light, inexpensive metal plough that can help people work much faster on their land and increase their harvests

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Fish cages

A floating bamboo cage can help people "grow" fish in their local ponds, fed on scraps and waste.

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Rice-fish culture

By introducing small fish into their rice fields, farmers can yield a better crop and provide their families with a protein-rich diet

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Floating gardens

Water hyacinth is collected to construct a raft, which is then covered in soil to enable farmers to grow food on flooded land

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Treadle pump

This foot-driven irrigation system greatly increases the income that farmers generate from their land

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Simple irrigation techniques help families move from malnutrition to self-sufficiency.

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Rainwater harvesting

Captures rainwater before it can be washed away, to be used once the rains have passed and soil is dehydrated

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Projects like this depend on your support. Please help us to work with communities around the world to save lives and improve livelihoods.

Our programme work

Our goal is for a transition to sustainable systems of agriculture and natural resources that provide food security for the rural poor.

Practical Action does not have a ‘one size fits all approach’. We work with communities to identify the most appropriate entry points for long-term and sustainable change.

We have programmes and projects to improve food production in countries across the world, from Boliva to Bangladesh, Nepal to Zimbabwe.

Read more about our food and agriculture projects

Technical resources

Our technical information service offers free downloads on a range of topics related to food and agriculture, including:

We also have a technical enquiry service where anyone working in poverty reduction, or on small-scale technology projects, can ask a question and receive a response from our local experts free of charge

Sharing knowledge where it counts

We have many solutions that can improve food security and livelihoods, but it is important to share these as widely as possible. In particular, farmer-to-farmer sharing of knowledge and experience can spread new ideas and approaches to deliver the maximum impact.

Community-based extension

Access to information and new ideas to improve agriculture practice is important for small scale farmers.

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Knowledge bazaars

An innovative model of decentralised knowledge centres supplies essential knowledge to isolated people in poor rural communities

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Krishi Call Centre

The Krishi phone service gives farmers in Bangladesh free and rapid access to the agricultural information they need.

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Blogs - food & agriculture

Providing food security through appropriate technology

Technological advances have increased the quality of life expectancy, productivity and income. However, as technology advances, developing countries have consistently missed out on the opportunities to increase their production potential in the varied development fields. Appropriate technological solutions are not easily accessible to poor people who need them most. Food production, for example, offers a clear distinction between technology justice and injustice. The lack of appropriate techn...
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Bag gardening makes a big change to food security of flood vulnerable families

Nasima Khatun lives in a village, very near the mighty Jamuna river of Sirajganj. River water comes to destroy their kitchen garden almost every year during the months of July, August and September, the harvesting season for summer vegetables. During the post flood period vegetable scarcity in homes and local markets becomes acute. Most poor families just eat boiled rice with salt during the floods. The health and nutrition of the household becomes fragile. They have no idea how to come out o...
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Know your soil

The agrarian economy of Bangladesh contributes more than 18% of the country's GDP through employing around 45% of the labour force. We can take the pride in its achievement towards ensuring food security though debates remain around food safety and nutritional aspect. There’s a common practice among our farmers of using excessive amount of fertilizers without understanding the nature of soil. As a result of the overuse of chemical fertilizers, the soil texture is deteriorating and at the s...
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Pumpkin producers association - a marketing platform of the extreme poor

Recently, I was in Rangpur and met some of our colleagues and partners and had the opportunity to discuss the associations established by our pumpkin producers. This is based on information and insights from that discussion. [caption align="alignright" width="600"] Pumpkin storage at beneficiary household[/caption] Since 2009 Practical Action's Extreme Poverty Programme has been working with river eroded communities to support their livelihoods and empower them economically. Pumpkin pro...
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Livestock Epidemio-Surveillance project in East Sudan

The three states of eastern Sudan - Kassala, Gadarif and Red Sea – are among the poorest in Sudan.  Chronic poverty and food insecurity are widespread. More than two thirds of the region’s population live in rural areas and just over a third of poor households in these states keep livestock. Despite Sudan raising more than 15 million livestock in 2012, this sector remains severely under-developed. Once of the main problems in the sector in Sudan, and Eastern Sudan in particular, is the hig...
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