Information and stories about agriculture.

Banana Industry in the Philippines
In 2022, the Philippines exported more than 2.2 million metric tons of bananas, placing them as the third largest exporter of bananas globally in the Global Banana Export Ranking. Even as one of the country’s most valued export commodities, the banana trade has always been one of inequality, trouble and turmoil, where many banana farmers experience poverty in the Philippines.

The Island of Mindanao

Ironically referred to as the “Land of Promise,” Mindanao has always been known for flourishing agriculture, severe poverty and civil unrest. Approximately 84% of the Philippines’ bananas originate from the island of Mindanao, home to around 25% of the country’s population. Yet upon this flourishing island lives over 35% of the country’s poorest.

Mindanao’s rural and indigenous farming communities suffer from poverty, poor road infrastructure and a lack of access to basic services such as electricity and water. This is a dire contrast to the richness of natural resources and opportunities it holds.

The History of the Banana Industry in the Philippines

With a tragic and torn colonial history, Filipinos have suffered for generations under colonial rule. With greed for the natural richness and potential the Philippines has always offered, the country fell to the exploitation of U.S. and Spanish rule, and poverty in the Philippines increased significantly.

When global internationalization and major food corporations infiltrated the banana industry of the Philippines, farmers became landless and suffered hunger from feeding everyone but themselves. As they no longer owned the farms, these banana farmers also found themselves imprisoned by unfair wages and poverty.

It was not until just over 30 years ago that the farmers began to claim back this land through the Philippines’ Land Reform Law. Challenging the corporations that had held them enslaved for so long and forming the cooperative FARMCOOP to continue spreading autonomy among Filipino farmers in Mindanao.

The FARMCOOP Foundation has now spread throughout Mindanao and much of the Philippines as a grassroots NFP Organization working alongside rural and indigenous communities to support growth and opportunity. Since 1995, it has supported more than 6,000 farmers, empowering them to further the potential of their farms and yields sustainably and reduce poverty across the Philippines.

The Impact of Natural Disasters & Panama Disease

Natural disasters and various crop diseases now threaten bananas, among much of global food production. There has been a significant drop in Filipino banana production and export, which has knocked it to third on the Global Banana Export Ranking.

Specifically, severe weather changes, including increased periods of rainfall, flooding and droughts, have impacted farming in the Philippines. Multiple typhoons have severely cost the Philippines over the past decade and in July, devastating landslides ripped through the country.

Banana farming in the Philippines has also struggled due to the increase in resistant crop diseases, such as Panama Disease. The use of fertilizers & pesticides has dramatically increased crop yields. However, one can see the prevalence and potential of massive crop loss to disease with a drop in decrease year on year. 

Hope for the Banana Growing Industry in the Philippines

As of May 26, the World Bank has invested in a $100 million project to support Mindanao Farmers, known as the Mindanao Inclusive Agriculture Development Project (MIADP).

MIADP is being implemented to allow farmers of Mindanao to sustainably increase yields and productivity while protecting the natural riches it boasts. In recognizing the severe poverty of the island, the intention is to encourage and provide resources that support and educate the farmers to create a more inclusive and fair food industry.

The program will likely educate and support Mindanao Farmers, encouraging sustainable farming techniques, utilizing Indigenous knowledge and helping improve climate resistance. In doing so, it is reducing poverty in the Philippines’ banana industry. The investment will also help improve local infrastructure, including education, ‘all-weather roads’ and health care access. The program should benefit 120,000 farmers and fisherfolk across Mindanao.

Banana Link

Another initiative, working with banana farmers in the Philippines and collaborating with FARMCOOP, is Banana Link. Banana Link is a global organization working with banana farmers worldwide, advocating for a fair and equal banana industry. 

It has been working in the Philippines towards achieving its key objectives:

  • Fair and ethical trade across the whole production chain.
  • Dignity and rights for farmers and trade unions.
  • Sustainable production of bananas.

Its program has furthered the support and the future of global banana farming. It ensures that the benefits are shared equally throughout, reducing poverty in the banana industry in the Philippines.

Given the dark history of the Banana Industry of the Philippines, projects like these and organizations like FARMCOOP and Banana Link will give banana farmers living in poverty in the Philippines an opportunity for a better life. Doing so will allow their futures to be as bright as their bananas.

Lucy Blake
Photo: Wikipedia Commons

Poverty in ArmeniaArmenia is a small, landlocked nation between the mountainous edges of Asia and Europe. Armenian culture is rich with familial bonds and social connections, forming a strong community. The people’s strength is evident in their perseverance through a newly won independence from the Soviet Union in 1991, leaving about 30% of its people struggling with poverty. Here is everything to know about poverty in Armenia. 


While 35% of Armenia’s workforce is in agriculture, most farms are smallholder-based, and dividing food crops among the nation becomes difficult. As of March 2023, 23% of Armenian households are food insecure. 

The International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) has been working to limit the food insecurity rates in Armenia, implementing grants and low-interest loans to help vitalize a country’s resilience in agricultural contexts. Poverty in Armenia commonly hits those in rural areas with unfavorable agricultural land — IFAD seeks to limit the disparity that food insecurity inflicts on those already suffering from poverty.

IFAD offers Armenian people loans for small subsistence farmers to expand their growth and increase surplus for sale. They can support the diversification of the agricultural market, a vital point in expanding food security to rural areas, and encourage those suffering from poverty to start businesses and enhance the Armenian economy. 

In 2017, agriculture generated 15% of Armenia’s GDP and is vital to the livelihood of those in rural areas suffering from extreme poverty. Policies and grant support like that of IFAD’s programs work to enhance the lives of those affected by a lack of arable land and an unsteady farming environment. 


Armenia’s high unemployment rate of 16% has been a persistent factor in poverty levels. Access to jobs that are well-paying and accessible is vital to maintaining the lifeblood of an economy. They are essential to declining poverty rates — providing people with an income that can spread across a household and afford necessities. 

Not only does Armenia have poor employment rates, but also low labor participation due to poor working conditions and a lack of opportunity for women — 45% of working-age women do not have employment. A quarter of jobs offered are low-wage, which keeps workers under the poverty line despite having an income, leaving several working poor. 

Those who find work in Armenia tend to be more highly educated. Urban areas have a high percentage of workers with tertiary education degrees, but rural areas have significantly lower levels of upper-level education. Even despite upper-level educational achievements, workers are not saved from the risk of poverty and often still work low-wage jobs that inhibit their growth in the economy.  

Enhancing labor laws that protect workers will provide better working conditions for the Armenian people. Policy improving health and safety standards is vital to bettering the general well-being of workers and, thus, their ability to continue working. Education standards and improving access to quality education are also vital to a thriving workforce.  


Low-quality education — especially in rural areas — has exacerbated poverty in Armenia. Accessible and advanced education is vital to maintaining steady economic growth as it equips workers with vital critical thinking and resources to be continuously learning post-schooling age. 

Education has been a priority in Armenia since it deviated from the Soviet Union in the early 90s. Still, it lacks the quality necessary to equip its youth effectively for the workforce. Armenian children learning with current Armenian education standards are 58% less productive than those who received higher-quality education. 

Education is a necessary step in laying the foundational knowledge needed for higher-paying jobs that will allow for more opportunities for those facing poverty in Armenia to raise themselves above the line.

The World Bank’s Efforts

The World Bank is currently helping to support and improve the Armenian education system through systems like the Education Improvement Project, a project that aims to tackle financial barriers to Armenian education by covering lab fees and equipment costs.

The organization granted a $25 million loan to fund the Education Improvement Project in Armenia on May 20, 2022. The project functions to improve multiple scales of education within Armenia; it funds the development of new schools while also providing supplies and enhanced training to Armenia’s educators. It also funds development in higher education institutions: the project focuses on creating improved STEM programs to open students to a higher-paying labor market. It creates opportunities for inclusion programs incentivizing young women to enter STEM-related fields. 

Moving Forward

Armenia only gained independence from the Soviet Union in 1991, so the struggle to steady its economic, social and political environment continues to slip through the cracks. Still, Armenia continues to show steady growth. Poverty levels have steadily declined since 2010, from 35.8% in 2010 to 23.5% in 2018. The strength of the Armenian people has persisted through the years, and poverty in Armenia will continue to decline with continued agricultural and educational advancements. 

– Eden Ambrovich
Photo: Unsplash

Agricultural TechnologiesWith a rapidly growing human population and dependency on agriculture, it is more apparent than ever how crucial agricultural technologies are to help end global poverty. Reports suggest that “by 2050, the global population size will have increased by 46%, requiring increased agricultural production to ensure food security.” The primary victims will be the global citizens already living below the poverty line. Still, this potential reality will simultaneously pull families that have never experienced poverty into poverty. 

Here are five agricultural technologies that will help fight back against these threatening projections and statistics.

  1. Agricultural Data Platforms: Agricultural data platforms combine many crucial aspects of agricultural data in one accessible platform. These platforms not only provide farmers with essential information such as crop health and soil moisture but can also help provide policymakers and legislators with real-time information, which can help inform accurate decisions regarding policy seeking to alleviate the effects of poverty. A case study from Spain highlights the positive impact of a data-sharing platform on the fruit and vegetable district. The farmers reported that the platform allows them to aggregate farm data, public data on climatic conditions, plant diseases and market conditions into a single space. This consolidated information is available for various queries, fostering improvements within the agricultural community. The success of this platform demonstrates its potential applicability for the benefit of farmers in different regions.
  2. Land Optimization Modeling: Land optimization modeling relies on computational techniques to guide decisions on crop types and planting locations, much like agricultural data platforms. Unfortunately, farmers’ land use is often influenced more by stakeholders than by scientific considerations. According to Liu et al., land-use coordination is a multiple stakeholder game, involving different interests in local land-use competition. The modeling helps rectify this power imbalance, returning financial control to farmers who frequently live below the global poverty line. A study along the Yangtze River in China highlights the benefits of land optimization modeling. The system adjusted production, living and ecological land proportions to 59.85%, 8.34% and 31.81%, respectively, better aligning with future demands for food security and ecological protection.
  3. E-extension Platforms: E-extension or electronic extension platforms use the internet and various Information and Communication Technologies, or ICTs, to support rural agricultural communities primarily through education and training initiatives. By training the people involved in growing, maintaining and harvesting crops, E-extension platforms help enable a sense of autonomy within the local community. They can open up opportunities for further financial stability. The Sasakawa Africa Association (SAA) operates in 16 different African countries. In Uganda, the SAA helped train young farmers to become agricultural commodities teachers, leading to increased agricultural productivity overall.
  4. Market Information Systems: Market Information Systems focus on providing farmers with real-time financial information so they know how much to sell their crops for and whom to sell them to. In fact, these systems help make the financial markets more transparent to farmers who may have limited access to or do not understand how the markets operate. This component is essential to ensuring farmers and their communities are paid accurately rather than being taken advantage of by stakeholders or corporations. Market information systems have become more and more popular in the 21st century. For example, in India, the Indian Agribusiness Systems Private Limited (IASL) has helped farmers better understand and interact with stocks, arrivals, prices, forecasting and more.
  5. Small-Scale Irrigation Technologies: Small-scale irrigation technologies vary in many ways, but the primary goal of each is to provide water to small-scale farms sustainably. This change is especially beneficial to developing regions that battle scarce rainfall and/or droughts and, therefore, lack stable crop access. These technologies include drip irrigation, rainwater collection, solar-powered pumps, community irrigation schemes and more. In a study done on the impacts of small-scale irrigation in Ethiopia, it was found that “…participation in small-scale irrigation has a positive effect on the majority of household livelihood diversification, and expanding irrigation schemes improves rural farm households’ livelihoods.”

Looking Ahead

These agricultural technologies, despite facing criticism, exhibit significant promise and are currently implemented successfully worldwide.

By empowering farmers and local communities, these technologies provide better financial prospects and agency. Simultaneously, on a global scale, they contribute to a more stable food supply, preventing a rise in poverty rates.

– Piper Jenkins
Photo: Unsplash

Somaliland’s Farmers
Located in Northern Somalia, Somaliland is an autonomous region with a standing population of 5.7 million individuals. Somaliland declared independence in 1991, yet remains an unrecognized state by African countries. While this region can be recognized for its deep cultural history and Islamic structure, it is worth noting that Somaliland is extremely poor and that the rural poverty rate is about 38%. Ensuring a stable economy is imperative for any region with a high poverty rate, especially Somaliland. 

Necessary for Economic Growth  

Agriculture is regarded as one of the most advantageous drivers of economic growth in this region. Somaliland’s farmers hold one of the most critical jobs in sustaining and fostering economic expansion. Agriculture in Somaliland creates a multitude of opportunities for employment and allows a wide range of jobs as well. In fact, Somaliland’s agriculture industry contributes 15% of GDP and more than 20%  of the region’s population depends on this practice for their livelihoods. 

The active practice of agriculture also alleviates food security in Somaliland, as a greater variety of food strengthens food security. It goes without saying that farmers must be protected in this region, as they play one of the most crucial roles in Somaliland. 

TIKA’S Work 

TIKA, the Turkish Cooperation and Coordination Agency, recently paired with the Ministry of Agriculture of Somaliland and provided 100 Somaliland farmers with seeds and fertilizers in order to support their work efforts. These seeds consisted of Sorghum, corn and pea seeds that farmers will now have access to and will be able to harvest. In order to grow crops more efficiently, farmers must possess working motor pumps to maintain livestock care and to control irrigation, thus the agency provided Somaliland with more of these tools as well. 

Despite Somaliland being extremely farmer-friendly, the impact that the region’s climate plays on the agricultural industry. Rain is essential for harvesting, and Somaliland is no stranger to droughts. In fact, this region is often in a drought crisis. Fariya, a mother and a farmer from Somaliland explains the impact that the droughts have on her family and her personal farming efforts. Fariya tells SOS Children’s Villages “We harvested the vegetables every three months, consumed some and sold the surplus. There is hardly anything to sell now, and this has hurt us financially. We have to wait a year for the trees to produce enough fruit to take to the market.” 

Fariya goes on to explain how farmers in Somaliland often need to look for an alternative source of income when these droughts occur. A main goal TIKA planned to tackle was to consider Somaliland’s climate and to take precautions before a drought occurs, so farmers are not left hopeless. 

Looking Ahead 

With more and more programs coming to light that support agriculture in the region and uplift Somalilland’s farmers, the future is promising. For example, The Cheetah Conservation Fund has introduced a project that will provide farmers of the regions with the skills and knowledge that they need to improve their farming through sustainable practices. The goal of this section of the project is to “introduce sustainable, ecosystems-based livelihoods.” 

Although it may feel impossible to help a region so far away, by supporting an organization that supports Somaliland’s farmers, making a difference is more achievable than expected. 

Ryan Balberman
Photo: Flickr

Poverty Reduction in NigeriaA recent decision by the Federal Executive Council (FEC) of Nigeria approved an annual $5 billion trust fund aimed at reducing the effects of humanitarian crises on affected Nigerians, as well as a general reduction in poverty across the nation. 

The Humanitarian and Poverty Alleviation Trust Fund was approved by the FEC and unveiled by Nigeria’s Minister of Humanitarian Affairs, Betta Edu. The fund will be realized through the collaboration of public and private sectors, as well as philanthropic organizations and individuals. 

“This, of course, is a victory for the poor and indeed would bring help and succor, which the Renewed Hope Agenda stands for,” Minister Betta Edu stated in Vanguard News. 


According to the Nigerian National Bureau of Statistics, it is estimated that approximately 63% of the population suffers from poverty. Moreover, more than half of the population does not have basic access to housing, health care, food, and clean energy. Of those affected by poverty, approximately 51% are children — two-thirds of children in Nigeria are victims of inadequate living conditions. 

In response to concerns about these living conditions, Nigeria announced the Renewed Hope Agenda on October 17, where President Tinubu outlined the nation’s new strategies in poverty reduction. These include government restructures that will make poverty reduction a key focal point in order to provide effective implementations without the hindrance of government corruption. Furthermore, the government announced collaborations with private sector groups, such as the World Bank, to provide zero-interest financial support to the state’s national social safety net expansion program, which will deliver aid to vulnerable Nigerians. The recently announced Renewed Hope Agenda will act as a seven-year plan to aggressively address humanitarian crises and poverty in the country. 

Expected Outcomes

With increased funding, the Nigerian government will be able to deliver new shelters to impoverished households, refugees and those suffering from disabilities. The agenda will deliver school meals to 10 million children across the nation, while also providing education to children who have previously been unable to access it.

The government will also be funding agricultural developments on 500,000 hectares of land, as well as providing farmers with 225,000 metric tons of fertilizers, in an effort to tackle food shortages. To strengthen the economy, the agenda will deliver support to an estimated 2 million beneficiaries in Nigeria through business grants. 

With the combined annual dedication of $5 billion as well as the Renewed Hope Agenda, Nigeria is taking an aggressive and direct approach toward implementing poverty reduction. By working with private sectors and charity organizations to support these new, ambitious policies, the Nigerian government hopes to propel the nation into economic stability and improve the lives of many Nigerians who face the obstacles posed by poverty on a daily basis. 

Final Thoughts

“Our objective is to lift millions of Nigerians out of poverty. Yet, this will only be possible with the cooperation of the people we seek to help. Let us continue to work together to achieve our collective goal of eradicating poverty in Nigeria,” said President Tinubu in his address to the nation.

– Remigius Kim
Photo: Pixabay

Gender Nutrition Gap in NigeriaWith food insecurity worsening across the globe, there is an urgent need to address the ever-growing gender nutrition gap. The gender nutrition gap concerns the disparities in access to resources between women and men. Women do not have the same access to food and basic nutrition as men, leading to them being disproportionately affected by food insecurity and malnutrition. This inequality has not only resulted in women being more vulnerable to diseases and other health risks but has also impacted their education and opportunities due to these health risks. 

Factors Contributing to the Gender Nutrition Gap

In sub-Saharan Africa, women make up 40% of the agricultural labor force and yet are still more food insecure than men. Due to social and historical factors, women not only have to work as farmers, but they also have to take on duties within the household, such as childcare and household management. This reduces their productivity in farming compared to men, and in societies that are still heavily patriarchal, women are often left with very little or comparatively worse food than men, and they are thus unable to meet their health and nutrition needs. These patriarchal societies also lead to women having less control over resources and income, further hindering their ability to afford health services. 

Nigeria is Closing the Gender Nutrition Gap

Nigeria is progressing in closing the gender nutrition gap with the World Bank approving $500 million for the Nigeria for Women Program Scale Up (NFWP-SU), which is set to empower women and improve their livelihoods. The NFWP-SU builds on the existing Nigeria for Women Project (NFWP), which supports over 427,887 Women Affinity Group (WAG) members across six states and further benefits 835,573 community members through various developmental interventions. The scale-up will provide even more financial support to the government of Nigeria in helping empower women — by investing in better economic opportunities for women, women will have access to better health and nutrition outcomes, thus helping combat the disparity in food access for women and address their health needs.

With a third of Nigerian households being unable to afford a nutritious diet and putting women and their families at risk of malnutrition, improving economic outcomes for women will help improve their health and resilience. 

Vivianne Ihekweazu, Managing Director of Nigeria Health Watch and one of the leaders of the NFWP-SU, has emphasized the importance of meeting the nutritional needs of women and girls to combat the pressing issue of malnutrition. She is working to empower women in Nigeria, and at the Women Deliver conference, she emphasized that Nigeria is focusing on five main areas to address the gender gap: 

  1. Supporting the Ministry of Health in optimizing the food supply chain by developing a national guideline.
  2. Advocating for more women to take on decision-making positions in the state and communities.
  3. Ensuring that women have equal access to and control over resources and production.
  4. Addressing how the inequality of women’s education can have adverse impacts on nutrition.
  5. Uplifting women’s positions in the workplace and empowering them by securing their workplace rights. 

Empowering Women and Improving Their Livelihoods

While food insecurity and malnutrition remain pressing issues for women in particular, these initiatives will enable Nigeria to take further steps in closing the gender gap, and, as a result, help women secure access to food and health services by providing economic security. With the current success of NFWP, the scale-up will certainly continue to address the issue of the gender nutrition gap, not only empowering women economically but also closing the gender disparity in access to food and nutrition.

– Stephanie Chan
Photo: Flickr

Smart Farming in GreeceFrom poor soil to inadequate levels of precipitation, Greek farmers face major drawbacks in their fields. The struggles of Greece’s agricultural sector can harm the economy and cause major food insecurity among families, but farmers are finding hope in high technology and its recent emergence in farming practices.

Greek Farmers Are Struggling With Crop Outputs

Greek farmers struggle with Greece’s dry and rocky land and lack important resources, such as water for their crops. The result is a low crop output, and many farmers have left the agricultural sector for higher-paid jobs. As of 2023, agriculture represents only 4.1% of Greece’s GDP. This is half of what it was in 2003. 

Low Crop Output Causes Food Insecurity and Harms the Economy

Although it does not have a high contribution to Greece’s GDP, the agricultural sector of Greece is quite essential, as it still accounts for a third of total exports from Greece, with fruit and cotton among the top exports. The big issue here is that Greece imports significantly more food than it exports. This economic crisis is related to the food insecurity that many poor families face. Therefore, addressing the economic aspect of the situation might target food insecurity among impoverished populations as well. 

How Does Smart Farming in Greece Help?

High-technology farming apps can provide farmers with practical information, such as microclimate data, humidity data and soil nitrogen levels. This is highly advanced quantitative information that cannot be deduced by the naked eye alone. With this high-speed data, farmers can stop their overuse of resources, such as fertilizer and irrigation. This allows farmers to save their money on soil and water, benefitting both themselves and the environment. This is especially useful for Greece’s agricultural sector since it has been low on water. 

As well as reducing costs, smart farming apps can improve both the quantitative and qualitative value of crops. In one account, a farmer was able to use up to 40% less fertilizer on his field and save around €9,000. This can both increase farmer finances and reduce food insecurity. 

Gaiasense is an example of one of these applications. Continuously recording and analyzing data from fields, it provides the necessary technological tools for farmers and addresses the threats that might affect crop production. Every few days, a satellite image enters Gaiasense, providing information about crop production, no matter the location. Gaiasense sensors within representative points of Greek agricultural lands and farmers’ crops take quantitative measurements from the air, soil and crops. With easy smart farming tools such as Gaiasense, farmers can easily record their work, the new technology they applied, and the results of the harvest without needing to be experts in technology.

Why Farming Apps Are Making Slow Progress in Greece

Although they have proven themselves to be extremely beneficial for both farmers and citizens who depend on a bountiful output of crops, smart farming apps are making slow progress in Greece. This is due to an overwhelming preference for old-fashioned methods, seen as the safer route to crop production. Yet, these methods do not seem to work well in Greece’s agricultural sector, and a new age of high technology might be necessary to conserve materials and boost crop production.

Additionally, Greek farms are typically family-owned businesses or involve rented fields. This makes investments in new tools and practices less appealing to the average Greek farmer. Low productivity has also been attributed to the small plots of land that are typically used by Greek farmers. Smart farming apps could provide the gateway to larger fields, as farmers will be able to save money and afford larger plots of land. Although farming apps might seem like a large investment, the equipment that is used is not expensive and doesn’t involve any specialized digital skills. 


Although there is slow progress, smart farming apps might be the gateway to begin fixing Greece’s economy and helping affected citizens out of poverty. With the advent of new problems comes a need for new strategies and technologies to fix those problems, and smart farming apps seem like the smart option for Greece’s agricultural sector. 

– Sophia Holub
Photo: Flickr

Food Security in Bangladesh 
In Bangladesh, approximately 40 million people face the harsh reality of food insecurity, including 11 million individuals dealing with acute hunger. Natural disasters have increased food insecurity, leading to a reduction in essential crop yields as follows: rice by 17% and wheat by a substantial 61%. The enhancement of rural agriculture initiatives offers practical solutions. These solutions are effectively improving food security in Bangladesh, while also having significant positive impacts on the entire nation.

Enhancing Agriculture for Food Security

From 2019, crucial programs sought to improve food security in Bangladesh, addressing the pressing issue of food poverty in the region. More than 225,000 farmers received support to adopt modern agronomic practices, focusing on irrigation, livestock management and pest and disease control. The leveraging of $2.2 million to enhance the business performance of high-value crop producers, thereby significantly increasing agricultural productivity and improving livelihoods in rural areas and further contributing to the alleviation of food poverty, complemented this effort. Additionally, these programs empowered 75,000 women, enabling them to apply improved management practices and technologies, both on and away from the farm, which played a vital role in the fight against food poverty.

Weather-Resilient Agriculture for Increased Food Security

In a recent collaboration between the government of Bangladesh and the World Bank, a $120 million financing agreement was signed to advance food security through the Climate-Smart Agriculture and Water Management Project. This project modernizes flood management, drainage and irrigation infrastructures to enhance climate resilience in agriculture. It reduces crop damage from floods by 60% across 120,000 hectares of land.

Empowering 100,000 farmers with knowledge and skills related to climate-smart agricultural technologies, crop diversification and post-harvest management was also another goal of the Climate-Smart Agriculture and Water Management Project, aiming to fortify their resilience against weather challenges and ultimately mitigate the cycle of food poverty in the region. It also supports rice and fish/shrimp farming through the establishment of cold storage facilities and local market improvements, with expected outcomes including increased fisheries productivity by almost 37%, a 10% rise in vegetable production and a 7.5% boost in rice production, all contributing to food security.

Agriculture as a Key Driver of Poverty Reduction

Agriculture plays a crucial role in reducing poverty in Bangladesh. From 2000 to 2010, the poverty rate dropped from 48.9% to 31.5%, with more than 87% of rural people earning some income through farming. This progress resulted from investments in irrigation, high-yield crops, efficient markets and mechanization.

To continue reducing food insecurity and poverty, Bangladesh needs to focus on high-value agriculture, like horticulture, livestock, poultry and fisheries. This diversification is essential for future growth, particularly because two-thirds of rural households depend on both farming and other income sources. This pro-poor agricultural growth also boosts the non-farm economy, ultimately improving food security.

A Multifaceted Approach to Food Security

Food security in Bangladesh is a multifaceted challenge. Nonetheless, the collaborative efforts by USAID, the World Bank and the government of Bangladesh contribute to food security improvement. By improving agriculture and promoting climate-resilient practices, these initiatives alleviate food insecurity and poverty. Continued investment and development in these programs provide optimism for a brighter and more secure future for the people of Bangladesh.

Through initiatives like climate-resilient agriculture and agricultural diversification, Bangladesh is making significant strides in its battle against food insecurity. Continued investment from the government and international organizations holds the promise of a future where food security is a reality for all.

– Marnie Woodford-Venables
Photo: Flickr

Agetch in IndiaAgriculture has been the backbone of India’s economy for centuries. Providing livelihoods to millions of people and contributing more than half of the country’s GDP. However, the sector has faced numerous challenges, including unpredictable weather patterns, inadequate infrastructure and the need to meet the demands of a growing population. 

To overcome these challenges and ensure food security, India has been progressively integrating technology into farming practices, leading to the emergence of Agtech (Agricultural Technology) as a revolutionary force in the agricultural sector.

Agtech in India

Agtech refers to the use of technology and innovation to enhance agricultural productivity and sustainability. In India, the integration of Agtech has ushered in a new era of farming, the number of agtech start-ups grew from under 50 to over 1,000 between 2013 and 2020. Thus transforming traditional practices into more efficient, data-driven and sustainable methods. 

Since Agtech was introduced into India’s agriculture it has boosted GDP by 16%, whilst providing 44% of employment from the national workforce. This integration has been driven by the increasing availability and affordability of technology, as well as the government’s efforts to promote digital agriculture.

Key Areas of Agtech Integration

One of the most significant advancements in Indian agriculture is the adoption of precision agriculture. Farmers are utilizing GPS technology, drones and sensors to collect data on soil quality, moisture levels and crop health. This data is used to make informed decisions about when and where to plant, irrigate and harvest, leading to reduced resource wastage and increased crop yields.

Farm management software applications have become essential tools for Indian farmers. These applications offer features like crop planning, real-time weather updates and market information. Farmers can now monitor their operations through their smartphones, making it easier to manage resources, expenses and revenue.

India’s agriculture heavily depends on irrigation, and smart irrigation systems have become a game-changer. These systems use data from various sources to optimize water usage, ensuring that crops receive the right amount of water at the right time. This not only conserves water but also minimizes the cost of irrigation.

Online agricultural marketplaces have become a platform for farmers to sell their produce directly to buyers. This reduces the reliance on middlemen and increases farmers’ income. These platforms also provide farmers with information on market demand and prices, helping them make informed decisions.

Lastly, biotechnology and genetically modified (GM) crops have gained ground in India. GM crops, such as Bt cotton and Bt brinjal, have shown increased resistance to pests and diseases, leading to higher yields and reduced pesticide use.

Challenges and Opportunities

While the integration of Agtech has brought about significant improvements in Indian agriculture, it also faces some challenges. The digital divide, where not all farmers have access to technology, remains a critical issue. In addition, the rapid pace of technological change can make it difficult for some farmers to keep up.

However, Agtech also presents immense opportunities. As the government continues to invest in rural digital infrastructure and awareness programs, more farmers are gaining access to technology. Furthermore, Agtech has the potential to make Indian agriculture more resilient in the face of climate change, reduce post-harvest losses and enhance food security.

Government Initiatives 

The Indian government has launched several initiatives to promote Agtech adoption among farmers. The Pradhan Mantri Kisan Samman Nidhi (PM-KISAN) scheme provides direct income support to farmers, facilitating their investment in technology. The National e-Governance Plan in Agriculture (NeGPA) aims to create a common platform for all agriculture-related information and services.


The integration of Agtech in Indian farming practices is revolutionizing the agriculture sector. Through precision agriculture, farm management software, smart irrigation systems, online marketplaces and biotechnology, Indian farmers are reaping the benefits of increased productivity, reduced costs and improved livelihoods. While challenges persist, the government’s initiatives and the growing availability of technology offer hope for a brighter future for agriculture in India. The integration of Agtech is not just a modernization of Indian farming; it’s a pathway towards sustainable, efficient and resilient agriculture that can meet the needs of a growing population.

– Sophie Higham
Photo: Unsplash

Regenerative Farming in India
Since 2019, India has attempted to put additional focus on their agricultural development. However, their plan to become land-degradation-neutral by 2030 has proven to be challenging, primarily due to an increased need for eco-friendly technology. Luckily, regenerative farming in India, a modern solution that emphasizes soil health and protects the environment, has the potential to make Indian farming more eco-friendly while also boosting the income of India’s farmers. 

Long-term studies have found that regenerative agriculture is not only more efficient than regular farming methods but is also more friendly to the environment. As a result, this new method not only benefits the farming community but can also have a significant impact on poverty in India, as the quality and quantity of food is substantially improved. Organizations such as Regenagri and Regenerative Organic Certified are spearheading this initiative due in part to its potential to alleviate poverty in India. 

India’s Land Degradation Crisis

As of 2023, roughly 30% of India’s total geographical area is degraded land, unfit for growing quality crops. Although land degradation caused by soil erosion is a natural part of the farming process, the loss of topsoil due to erosion occurs at a rate faster than soil can regenerate. As a result, nations such as India are at risk of desertification, which poses a considerable threat to the well-being of the nation’s population. 

Desertification leads to a lack of accessibility to natural resources required for human survival and development, also known as “ecological poverty.” Ecological poverty has inextricable ties to income poverty; if ecological poverty is not averted, then the fight against global poverty can never succeed. 

Regenerative Agriculture’s Impact on Poverty

To fight off desertification and land degradation, certain organizations are encouraging the utilization of regenerative agriculture, an eco-friendly strategy that prioritizes soil fertility and improves water and energy management. The primary goal is to heavily alter the agricultural process in order to guarantee a more plentiful and stable yield while keeping financial and environmental costs low. 

This is achieved through various eco-friendly additions to the farming process, such as covering bare soil to prevent carbon dioxide from escaping into the atmosphere, integrating livestock more seamlessly and attempting to protect the soil from as many disturbances as possible. 

The end result of this strategy is a farming method that is not only beneficial for the environment but also considerably boosts the quality and quantity of crops produced while farming. Consequently, the utilization of regenerative agriculture can improve the availability of food and other goods in India, thereby fighting back against poverty in the nation. This coincides with the need to combat ecological poverty. By utilizing regenerative agriculture, the health and accessibility of necessary natural resources have significantly improved. 

Current Initiatives and Organizations

Regenagri, developed jointly by Solidaridad and Control Union, is one organization that has already seen success in India with its regenerative agriculture initiative. Regenagri has brought regenerative agriculture processes to 1.25 million acres of land. Regenerative Organic Certified, an initiative made up of several organizations and companies such as Patagonia, is the other main body pursuing regenerative farming in India. Major food companies such as Nestle are also pursuing efforts in the regenerative agriculture sphere. 

With a considerable number of organizations already partaking in this initiative, India’s farming methods should see considerable improvement. If regenerative agriculture proves to be successful, India will be one step closer to their land-degradation-neutral goal.

– Liam Kahan
Photo: Flickr