farmer irrigates crops
High-Value Crops

Agriculture

Nearly two-thirds of the world's poor rely on agriculture for their incomes. That’s why agriculture is key to economic development: this sector 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 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 Work in Agriculture

TechnoServe helps farmers growing high-value (or cash) crops to earn greater incomes by improving the quality and quantity of their crops; accessing finance and supplies; and selling to better buyers, such as food and beverage companies, which pay higher prices and provide farmers with a reliable, long-term market.

In order to achieve this, TechnoServe works to strengthen market systems. We focus on markets that have:

  • A clear opportunity – an unmet demand for a product or service
  • The potential for inclusive growth that benefits poor people in their roles as producers, entrepreneurs, employees or consumers
  • The potential for scale – impacting significant numbers of families

This approach has enabled TechnoServe to improve the lives and livelihoods of millions of smallholder farmers and their families.

Who Benefits

Smallholder farmers

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 food, shelter, health care, and education for their families. In 2018, TechnoServe’s work enabled 412,000 farmers around the world – of whom 37% were women – to increase their incomes. 

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.

Consumers

TechnoServe’s work with smallholder 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.

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 the Haitian farmer who is proud to share his mangoes with you.