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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

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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Improving food security in Talkok

Telkok is one of the most poverty stricken localities in the state of Kassala and needs a great deal of effort to build up the food security and resilience of its communities. Practical Action and three local partners are leading a range of interventions in the area. These include limiting the spread of Mesquite trees which invade agricultural areas. One partner, the Elgandual network, is working to improve agricultural production and helpfarmers' increase their income.  They held a pra...
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Enhancing Flood Resilience through Livelihood adaptation

“The 2014 flood was worse than the 2009 flood but the loss and damage was less because people had learned from the earlier event.” Dinanath Bhandari I am currently visiting the Practical Action Nepal flood resilience project in the western region, which has been supported by the Z Zurich foundation for the last five years. The project is working in 74 flood vulnerable communities adjacent to the Karnali River, located in the Terai plains, the flat lands that connect Nepal to India. ...
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Ropeways: connecting rural communities

By Sanjib Chaudhary and Ganesh R Sinkemana If you look up at the steep hills mounting over the Budhiganga River at Taptisera in Bajura district, you’ll believe why people call them ‘bandar ladne bhir’ – meaning cliff where even monkeys slip down. There are three options to get to the top of the hill – a dangerous vertical climb of one and half hour, a strenuous trek of three and half hours and a six hour long tiring hike along the ridges. In addition, you’ll need to cr...
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Spreading the message on animal health

The overall objective of the LESP-ES animal health project is to contribute to poverty reduction and to eradicate food insecurity in Sudan by improving the livelihoods and resilience of rural smallholders in Kassala, Gedarif and Red Sea states through enhancing livestock productivity. The purpose of the project is to ensure that appropriate animal disease surveillance and control is operational in these three states of Eastern Sudan. This will be achieved through improved effectiveness of ...
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