we can create big opportunities for smallholder farmers

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Agricultural development – a powerful way to end poverty

Three quarters of the world’s poorest people are farmers, and vulnerable to the effects of climate change – from floods to droughts to changing weather patterns. To meet these challenges, we must develop long-term plans and solutions to help them succeed. With your help, we can.

We can equip smallholder farmers like Shuwiso with easy-to-adopt solutions like Pfumvudza – allowing them to feed their entire families for a year from a relatively small plot of land.

With planet-friendly farming techniques, farmers can thrive, even in the face of climate change.

Previously, Shuwiso (pictured) was struggling to feed her family due to the changing climate and unpredictable weather patterns. But thanks to Pfumvudza, Shuwiso’s now able to provide for her loved ones all year round, and has since bought livestock and built a new home!

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  • More about Pfumvudza

    Pfumvudza is an innovative idea originally developed by a local NGO (we cannot take the credit for this ingenious solution!) to answer the following question: “how much land is needed to feed a family?” On the basis that a family needs one bucket of maize per week to provide their staple diet, a simple model was developed.

    To fill one bucket with shelled maize would require 56 cobs weighing 300 grams each. If each maize plant produces at least one cob, 56 plants are required. We put this model to test within our programme.

    Pfumvudza is a sustainable farming technique that involves planting in small pot holes that trap water. The addition of compost, and ground cover mulch, ensures the soil is well fertilised and also helps retains moisture. And at just 16m x 39m (that’s half the size of an olympic swimming pool) the plot is small enough to easily prepare, small enough to manage with mulch, small enough to weed, and even small enough to water by hand with harvested rainwater in the event of a mid-season dry spell or drought.

    Each plot has the potential to feed a family and a second plot can be used to grow cash crops such as sorghum and millet, beans, ground nuts or cowpeas.

“I saw the same challenges faced by smallholder farmers that I’d experienced growing up. I also saw that small, locally-owned and run solutions were often the most successful”

– Kudzai Marovanidze, Practical Action, Zimbabwe

Sustainable solutions that help grow success

We’re working with farmers around the world to improve their crops and incomes. Our work with farmers like Mohit (pictured) in Bangladesh is another success story. Climate change means that farmland can be under water for half the year, leaving farming families without food and income.

The solution is a ‘floating garden’. This ingenious farming method capitalises on flooded land by using it to farm fish in nets. Meanwhile, floating plants are used as ‘rafts’ on which to grow climate-hardy vegetable varieties. Now, Mohit is growing nutritious food for his family and has additional income to buy necessities.

Floating gardens are one of many transformative techniques that you can help support, creating huge change for communities.

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A combination that works around the world

We’ve seen this combination of training in both agriculture and business skills work for communities around the world. A combination that leads to communities thriving, even in the conditions created climate change. A combination that leads to self-sufficiency and the ability to plan for the future.

From creating access to safe cooking in Sudan to helping coffee farmers in Peru regenerate their land to installing early flood warning systems in Bangladesh – your gift will help families around the world unlock long-term opportunities. It will support us as we use ingenious, small-scale solutions to fuel big change.

Thank you for helping us create a world that works better for everyone.

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You can help farming communities thrive, even in the face of climate change

Your gift will support communities facing tough challenges caused by climate change – from equipping communities with early warning systems that help them prepare for extreme weather to enabling farming communities to train in agricultural skills that will help them succeed.

  • One off donation
  • Regular support

You decide how much you’d like to give and how often – either a regular monthly gift or a single donation.


Monthly giving will allow us to unlock grants from large donors and embark on long-term projects with communities around the world.


We believe in possible

We know that ingenuity can tackle the world’s toughest problems. We’ve worked with communities to prove it’s possible to:

  • Turn desert into lush fields in Sudan, so farmers can thrive despite climate change
  • Replant areas of rainforest in Peru, so coffee growers can succeed sustainably
  • Turn plastic waste into fuel in Bangladesh, cleaning up slums and rivers and creating jobs

It’s what we’ve been doing for over 50 years.

But we need to do more

People living in poor communities have never faced such a tough reality.

  • Climate change has caused an increase in devastating floods, storms and landslides. We can help communities avoid disaster.
  • Permanent changes to temperature and rainfall are making farming almost impossible. We can help farmers adapt and thrive.
  • The long term impact of coronavirus is pushing millions deeper into poverty. We can help create jobs, improve incomes and boost businesses.

You support will help make this possible.

Your gift will go further than you imagine

Regular support through monthly giving will:

  • Provide us with the predictable income we need to embark on ambitious long-term projects with communities around the world.
  • Allow us to pioneer innovative approaches that can be replicated elsewhere, by other development groups and governments.
  • Enable us to unlock grants from large donors, such as the UK Government and UN bodies.

Feel part of the change

You’ll feel involved and inspired by the work your support is making possible.

  • We’ll bring you uplifting updates from the communities we work with, our teams who work alongside them and our technical experts.
  • We’ll keep you up to date with the progress and some of the big global issues through email updates and our supporter magazine
  • You can delve into content on our website and join the conversation on our social media channels.

An organisation you can trust

We’re committed to the highest standards in fundraising, transparency and reporting.

For every £1 we receive in donations, just 9 pence is spent on fundraising. The remaining 91% is spent on charitable activities, including 1% on essential governance.

(2020/21 audited accounts, produced to Charity Commission norms).

Expenditure 2020-2021: £26.7 million (91%) on charitable activities and £2.6 million (9%) on fundraising

We are trusted by the UK and overseas governments who fund some of our projects, along with major foundations, corporations and UN bodies.

Practical Action is registered with the Fundraising Regulator and the Fundraising Preference Service


Read our Supporter PromisePrivacy Policy and  Transparency Policy

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