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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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Irrigation

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

Life as a Barefoot Agro-vet; Govinda Khadka's Story

Things were bleak for Govinda Khadka (47) of Gajra village in Achham District a few years back. After being a primary school teacher for over a decade until 2014, Khadka quit his job due to low remuneration and instability. Before being a school teacher, he was a migrant worker alike most of his fellow villagers. He lived and worked as a labour in India for many years. His meagre income never paid enough for his family of five including his wife and three sons. With mere three ropani (1 Ropan...
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Kamala Joshi — A woman who broke the cycle of discrimination

Mother’s Day is one of my favourite days of the year. Not because of all the festivities or pastries (which I don’t mind!), but because it reminds me of all the amazing women I have met, but I haven’t had a chance to tell you about yet. Meet Kamala Joshi, a Nepalese single-mother who, like many other women in rural communities, got married in her early twenties. She had a baby soon after wedlock, sadly, her husband left her shortly after the baby was born. Kamala struggled to provide for h...
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Youth driving transformation of African agriculture

On 16th and 17th February, the MasterCard Foundation will host the Young Africa Works Summit in Kigali, Rwanda, to address the opportunities for empowering young people to drive transformational change in African agriculture. Practical Action will be there to share evidence from its work of how technologies – from MP3 podcasts, to solar irrigation systems – can support young people to lead productive lives in agricultural areas, and move towards more sustainable, resilie...
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8 steps to make farmers flood resilient

-- By Buddhiram Kumal  & Dinanath Bhandari Building on the strength of the farmers’ field schools (FFS), Nepal Flood Resilience Project has devised the FFS to train and help farmers further to adopt flood resilient technologies, strategies and approaches to transform their vulnerability into resilience. Here’s how we are making farmers flood resilient through this academy for flood resilience. 1. Organising to learn Farmers’ field schools are proven approaches and strat...
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Can Climate Information Services be mapped? 

"This is one time where television really fails to capture the true excitement of a large squirrel predicting the weather".  Groundhog day 1993 Practical Action has been approached by a consortia of partners to explore the issue of Climate Information Services in West Africa. We have been posed the question "Is it possible to map the Climate Information Services system in the region and would mapping help to make the system work better for rain fed marginalised farmers?" This is par...
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