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Last year we helped over 650,000 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

Governing interactions lead to partnerships

Partnership building is a key aspect in development. Much literature is available on how to build partnerships in development. However, partnership building has not been an easy task, because most effective partnerships operate consciously or unconsciously according to three core principles; equity, transparency and mutual benefit. Partnership has been defined as; “an ongoing working relationship where risks and benefits are shared.” Therefore, partnerships collapse if the said principals are...
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Practical Action's top Dads!

The 19th of June is Father's Day, so I thought what better time to share some stories of some amazing fathers that Practical Action has worked with around the world, only made possible because of our kind and generous supporters. 5. Anthony Ndugu, Kenya Before Practical Action began working with Anthony, a pit latrine emptier in Nakuru, Kenya, he was shy and felt ashamed of the job he did. He didn’t feel respected by his community and would often come home covered in waste. He even felt...
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Learnings from a food security project in far-western Nepal

When I look back, it still gives me a reason to visit the place again and again. The trip to far-western Nepal, our project sites, was a whirlwind – with all sorts of emotions jumbled up – getting me excited at each turn of the road. Though harsh life in the rugged terrain is a daily affair for people living in abject penury, it is a moment of revelation if you are a first-time traveller to those areas. The Promotion of Sustainable Agriculture for Nutrition and Food Security (POSAN-FS) ...
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Being Young

At least, a smile means something; The satisfaction of being the reason of it, The happiness to see someone happy, The accomplishment of honest efforts, The realization of contributing for a cause All these matters, all this you count When you are young, Young at heart! It's neither the space you work, Rather the environment of positivity, Which propels you Towards goodness and inspires. The spirit of an action hero To being the saviour Not in a dream but by action. This is wh...
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Community-led 3D mapping of natural resources in North Darfur

The primary goal of the Wadi el Ku Catchment Management Forum Project is to demonstrate how the promotion of inclusive natural resource management (NRM) systems and practices can help rebuild inter-community relations, enhance local livelihoods and contribute to peace in North Darfur. Practical Action and project partner the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) have adopted a range of interventions targeting both local natural resource users and custodians, with the latter inclu...
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