Where We Work
Nearly two-thirds of the world's poor rely on agriculture for their incomes, making the sector key to economic development. Agriculture is two to four times more effective at raising incomes in developing countries than other sectors.
Certain crops with high market value – like coffee, cocoa, and others – can bring especially large increases to farmers’ incomes. When farmers can improve the quality and yields of these high-value crops, the impact can be transformative.
Surpluses produced in excess of household consumption can be sold commercially, increasing community food security, promoting value-added activities like processing, and supporting a variety of businesses along the supply chain.
This extra value not only supports farmers and their households, but also creates jobs, wealth, and economic growth along the supply chain until the products reach the end consumers, whether they live next door to the farmer or on the other side of the world.
Our Agricultural Work With Smallholder Farmers
TechnoServe helps smallholder farmers growing high-value (or cash) crops to achieve critical outcomes like the following:
- Earn greater incomes by improving the quality and quantity of their crops
- Access finance and supplies
- Sell to better buyers, such as food and beverage companies
- Secure partnerships with buyers that pay higher prices
By increasing access these resources and market connections, TechnoServe helps provide farmers with a reliable, long-term market.
In order to achieve these goals, TechnoServe works to strengthen market systems. We focus on markets that have:
Clear Opportunities for Smallholder Farmers:
TechnoServe facilitates market connections that provide an unmet demand for a product or service
- Potential for inclusive growth:
The most valuable market opportunities we can create are those that benefit people like producers, entrepreneurs, employees or consumers who are living in poverty.
- The potential for scale:
Similarly, TechnoServe focuses our efforts on creating market connections that hold promise for impacting significant numbers of families.
TechnoServe’s Approach Puts Smallholder Farmers First
TechnoServe’s approach has enabled our work to improve the lives and livelihoods of millions of smallholder farmers and their families.
Featured Agriculture Projects For Smallholder Farmers
TechnoServe Coalition for Smallholder Sourcing
The TechnoServe Coalition for Smallholder Sourcing was dedicated to generating evidence on innovations in smallholder sourcing that improve outcomes for farmers and companies, as well as promoting broad-based adoption of effective innovations.
Ganadería Empresarial (GANE) aimed to improve the livelihoods of smallholder livestock producers in Nicaragua. With support from the U.S. Department of Agriculture, TechnoServe helped 5,500 farmers increase productivity, strengthen producer organizations and connect to higher-value markets.
Reducing Losses in the Mango Value Chain
Post-harvest losses in the value chain reduce incomes for mango farmers in Kenya. TechnoServe in partnership with the Rockefeller Foundation launched a pilot project in July of 2015 to address key areas where post-harvest losses can be reduced.
Many smallholder farmers in the developing world live in poverty, and rely on agriculture as their primary source of income. They often support multiple family members, and work hard around the year to nurture their crops and earn enough money to provide the following essentials for their families:
n 2018, TechnoServe’s work enabled 412,000 smallholder farmers around the world – 37% of whom were women – to increase their incomes.
“We help people earn money so they and their families can come out of poverty. Much of our focus is on agriculture, because that’s still how the majority of the world’s poor earn a living. About a quarter of our work is in entrepreneurship and business acceleration, through which we support people to access information, capital and markets. That’s currently the fastest-growing part of our business.”
Local agricultural businesses
TechnoServe helps local agricultural enterprises to improve their operations so they can buy more from smallholder farmers, process or sell more agricultural goods, and create jobs for their community.
TechnoServe’s work with farmers enables consumers in local, regional, and international markets to enjoy access to higher-quality foods and beverages produced in a more sustainable, inclusive way.
Stories from Smallholder Farmers: Featured Agriculture Blog Posts
How is Climate Change Impacting the Future of Coffee?
How Better Strawberries Improve Incomes for Mexican Farmers
How Do Coffee Farmers in East Africa Bring Your Favorite Coffee From Crop to Cup? Part 1: Farming
Message in a Mango
Where do your mangoes come from? Come along as a harvest of delicious Francique mangoes travels from the farm to your shopping cart, and meet a Haitian farmer who is proud to share his mangoes with you.