Empowering communities to provide for themselves and prosper is central to the agricultural development work World Vision does

We work with communities to support productive and profitable farming and business practices, and prepare youth to take advantage of economic opportunities. We also support communities to establish savings groups and manage natural resources sustainably, providing the foundations on which better livelihoods can be built. 

Our focus is on supporting families to be able to provide better for themselves, so that children will have nutritious food to eat and their parents will have enough money to send them to school and give them the best start in life. 

Food Security & Resilient Agriculture

To reduce hunger, improving agriculture on small farms is critical.  We support farmers with drought resistant seeds, and promote the adoption farming methods appropriate to the climate in order to help communities increase crop production. World Vision also supports households and farmers groups to develop horticulture and backyard gardening to increase the diversity of crops available – this reduces risk and also helps improve nutrition. In some cases, improved breed livestock are provided, which can better stand the harsh conditions and provide an alternative source of nutrition and income. We also work with farmers to increase crop productivity through providing access to improved seeds and farming tools and deliver training in more efficient farming practices. 

It is also critical that the natural resource base on which small farming depends is protected and developed. We support communities to farm and manage natural resources in a sustainable way, to prevent soil erosion, maintain soil fertility, and use water more efficiently. We also support communities to anticipate, prepare for and respond to disasters and shocks. These initiatives help communities reduce their vulnerability so they can better survive when disaster strikes.

Farmer Managed Natural Regeneration

Farmer Managed Natural Regeneration (FMNR) is a low cost land restoration technique. It involves the re-growth and management of trees and stumps from felled tree stumps, sprouting roots or seeds.  The re-grown vegetation – integrated into crop land or grazing pastures – helps restore soil fertility, protects from soil erosion and support the land absorb rainfall so it can be harnessed for crop production and replenish water sources. As a result, FMNR can double crop yields, provide a sustainable source of timber and firewood, fodder and shade for livestock, wild foods and nutrition and medication, and increased incomes and living standards for farming families and communities. 

Conservation Agriculture

Conservation agriculture is a set of farming practices that help farmers achieve better yields and profits in the short term, while protecting and restoring the natural environment so it can continue to support livelihoods in the long term. The approach is based on making the most efficient use of available natural resources and biological processes above and below the ground, in order to improve crop yields and allow a greater variety of crops to be produced. The approach has proven effective over a range of environments and can be replicated easily at low cost. 

Economic Development

Economic Development is not an end in itself, but an essential part of the change required so that families and communities can create nurturing environments where children can thrive. Improved incomes and financial stability in the household mean that families have the option to spend money on things that positively impact their children’s lives. 

Farming as a business

Supporting farmers to grow more crops is only half the battle. Small scale farmers often find it difficult to secure a decent price for their produce. Many struggle access to profitable markets, are poorly equipped to analyse market trends and requirements, and lack the resources to take advantage of business opportunities. 

World Vision supports farmer’s groups in our ADPs with training in marketing and business skills to help them analyze and respond to opportunities, in order to obtain a better price Farmers coming together in associations and cooperatives means they have better bargaining power, can access credit more easily and can pull their resources to better afford transport, seeds, tools and fertiliser. We also work with farmers to develop improved storage practices, and processing and packaging techniques that add value to their produce, so they can be more competitive and raise household incomes. In communities where other non-farm income generating opportunities are more viable, we work with small scale entrepreneurs to give them the skills they need to succeed. 

Savings Groups

We help communities establish Savings Groups for members of the community who cannot access savings and loans facilities from banks or micro finance institutions. A Savings Group is a group of community members who come together voluntarily to save money together. They are owned, managed and operated by their members using a simple, transparent mechanism by which they can convert small amounts of cash into savings and then draw upon small, flexible loans when needed.

Membership of a Savings group helps families plan for and meet essential healthcare and education cost, and cope with emergencies and life events such as funerals and weddings without being exposed to debt.  It also helps families build up capital to make smalls investments to gradually work their way out of poverty.

Youth livelihoods

World Vision strives to empower youth and adolescents with short, medium and long terms skills development that not only prepares them for adulthood, but prepares them to take advantage of economic opportunities both on and off the farm. This includes providing youth with the opportunity to gain vocational and technical skills, and improving access to the services, resources and relationships required so they can start their own business or gain employment. Life skills such as communication, critical thinking and collaboration are all critical, alongside financial literacy and entrepreneurship skills.

World Vision International impact 

World Vision partners with communities to address immediate food needs — but also to grow sustainable food for the future. These accomplishments represent some of our impact in 2014:

1,450,361microloans disbursed in 34 countries

Thanks to the support of World Vision donors all around the world in 2014.

84,837farmers linked to markets

Thanks to the support of World Vision donors all around the world in 2014.

228,607savings group members

Thanks to the support of World Vision donors all around the world in 2014.