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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

Elevated hand pumps supply clean water during floods

Dakshin Sahipur, a small village near the bank of the Karnali River in southern Nepal, gets flooded every year. Most of the residents here are former bonded labourers, freed after the Government of Nepal abolished the bonded labour system in 2002. The government provided five kattha of land (around 1.700 square metres) for each family for their sustenance. However, the land provided was prone to flood during monsoon and drought for the rest of the year. One of the residents, Phoolbashni Ch...
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Saving seed and grains from flood

Chandra Bahadur Rokka Magar and his neighbours in Tikapur Municipality, ward 5 of Kailali district, face the wrath of floods every year. [caption align="alignleft" width="315"] Chandra Bahadur showing water level during flood[/caption] Magar says, “Our village is near the Karnali River, so we face flood very often. In some years the floods are more disastrous. In 2014, floods swept away all of our belongings and it took more than a year to recover.” Magar and his neighbours ...
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‘Technology’ Enabling Adaptation to Climate Change

At CBA12, Practical Action is working with IIED and its conference partners to lead an ‘adaptation technologies’ workstream, exploring how technologies can be used to enable communities to adapt to climate change; increasing their resilience to climate stresses and shocks, and how ‘technology’ can be used to lever support and investment in adaptation. In a world where we see new technology changing the way we live our lives, and constantly surprising us about what is possible, it is no...
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From porter to proud agri-entrepreneur

The inspiring story of Nara Bahadur Rawat

Far from the madding crowd, a man who has toiled his whole life lives a quiet life. An immigrant worker to India and now back to his dwelling at Jumla, Nara Bahadur Rawat (47), is happy with his life. And why wouldn't he be? Life in Jumla is full of vicissitudes and Rawat's journey has been an uphill task. It's not all easy for him. [caption align="alignleft" width="519"] Nara Bahadur Rawat smiles for the camera[/caption] "I didn't...
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Ever heard of a Floating Farm?

Meet Shujit Sarkar, a 36 year old farmer from Bangladesh. Shujit is married to Shikha and they have four children. Shujit earns his income by farming and selling fish fingerlings. He doesn’t own land or a pond so he has to keep the fingerlings in the canal nearby. Unfortunately, during the monsoon seasons, the canal water overflows and the whole village floods. During the floods, Shujit can’t feed or sell his fingerlings. This means that he struggles to feed his family. This is a co...
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