Farming for people
Making it pay
Viable livelihoods for small holder farmers, especially women and young people
Farming for the planet
Making it work
Effective planet friendly farming for the new climate reality
Farming for big change
Making it possible
Markets and policies that work for farmers and the environment
By 2025, our work with partners will have improved food security and incomes for two million people in rural communities and a further one million systems beneficiaries.
Our farming focus
We will continue to build our profile and influence on regenerative agriculture, developing additional large-scale partnerships. We aim to develop our niche in energy for agriculture that supports smallholder communities and sustainable rural revitalisation.
- An approach to farming and food production that values people and the planet
- That offers a sustainable alternative to intensive agriculture
- Providing the potential to transform the lives of millions of farming families struggling to adapt to a changing climate
What makes us different
- We have five decades of experience of working with smallholder farmers who are vulnerable to climate change and have strong expertise in how agriculture can work well for people and planet – agroforestry, integrated water management, increasing soil organic matter, seed systems, regenerative and conservation agriculture
- We have long-standing experience in techniques for analysing and facilitating market systems that work for vulnerable farmers (Participatory Market Systems Development and Market Interest Groups).
- The combination of our deep understanding in these areas gives us the ability to work effectively with others to make the changes that can deliver more sustainable agriculture, better food security and livelihoods for vulnerable farming communities.
Farming that works
Policy and influence
We promote the benefits of agroecological approaches to governments, development agencies and the private sector as an essential part of national strategies for food security, economic development and poverty reduction.
We call for:
- Agriculture and development policies that purposely include smallholder farmers and the marginalised rural poor, especially women smallholder farmers, working towards the SDGs in a way that is inclusive and works for the majority.
- Climate adaptation funding that supports developing countries to innovate truly climate smart agroecological solutions, not business as usual commercial monoculture, with more emphasis on multi-commodity and systems research.
- Research and investment in agroecological approaches as a means of improving both smallholder productivity and resilience through the co-generation of locally relevant and adoptable solutions to productivity and coping with the changing climate.
- Governments, donors, development agencies and the private sector that work through market systems and the private sector to provide a means of achieving scale – in particular to incentivise the adoption of agroecological practices in markets by the private sector.
We refuse to accept the only future for food production is an agricultural system that destroys the planet and keeps farmers trapped in poverty.
Learn more from the work we're doing to help smallholder farmers achieve a decent standard of living, whilst protecting the environment and building natural resources. Explore a sample of our reports, policy papers, technical information and publications.View resources
Learning Brief: Contract Farming and Access to Energy for Women Farmers in Malawi
This learning brief comes from a 2-year project, working with 135 women farmers provided with irrigation pumps and greenhouses. The women were trained in greenhouse tomato farming and stored their produce in a solar-powered chilling unit.
The project mainly covered the start-up period, but shows great successes and potential for the future, as the women can earn at least 624 euros a year from 15 hours work a week, contributing over 50% of the living income for a household in the area. 71% of the women noted improvements in food security and over 40% have improved practise on other farms as a result of the training. There are also very positive signs of women’s empowerment and gender equality.
Although Practical Action is no longer involved, the initiative is part of the core business of MFT and will be continued and expanded by them.
This learning brief captures learning that should be of use to Practical Action (PA) programme teams, private sector actors, donors, NGOs, and government bodies.
Big solutions for smallholder farmers
We’re breathing new life into rural economies in Kenya, in partnership with the IKEA Foundation. Together, we’re demonstrating that regenerative agriculture can create viable businesses opportunities for young people and thriving local economies.
By developing multi-stakeholder platforms, we’re improving the poultry, groundnut and tomato value chains. Working groups, made up of commercial providers and government agencies, are tackling access to finance, training services and the provision of market information.
Water management in Darfur
By partnering with local governments, technical departments and communities affected by drought in Sudan, we’ve put a series of initiatives in place to provide enough clean water for everyone.
Through our work together, we’ve established an integrated water resources management system to protect the supply for the future. In finding new, effective ways to supply water to the people of Darfur, communities have the chance to come together and reclaim their land and livelihoods.
A new business model in Malawi
Through our consulting arm, we’re working with social enterprise Modern Farming Technologies and renewable energy developer African Mini Grids to reduce harvest loss in Malawi.
We’ll use our combined expertise in solar energy and access to wholesale food markets to overcome the challenges climate change is causing for the country’s smallholder farmers. They’ll learn how to grow produce in poly-tunnels using solar drip irrigation, increasing their yields and boosting profits.
Tea for people and the planet
We’ve partnered with East West Tea Company and Sorwathe tea farmers on a pioneering new project to support diversification and more regenerative forms of agriculture in Rwanda.
The result of this partnership will be a win-win for people and the planet. Farming families will have increased income, food security and health. Meanwhile, soil health will be improved, and other environmental resources conserved. This regenerative approach is also a sustainable one – farmland will become more productive over time. The communities we work with will continue to benefit from our work together for generations.