LWR & Agriculture

Kenyan Farmer Tending to Plants

One in eight people in the world, more than 840 million people go hungry every day. By 2050, the world will need to increase its food production by as much as 50 percent to feed 9 billion people. To do this, the international community must devote attention and resources to agricultural development and research, including a global push to close the gender gap. While increasing production, the world must also protect and sustain natural resources, taking specific measures to adapt to changing climatic conditions.

The global coffee and cocoa markets are worth more than $175 billion per year combined. But smallholder producers capture just a fraction of that value. With expertise developed over decades, LWR brings a unique perspective and skill set to improve producers’ lives, from the ground up. Read more about Ground Up: The LWR coffee and cocoa initiative.

LWR’s Approach: Rural Smallholder Agriculture

LWR believes productive, resilient and stable agricultural bases are a vital foundation for poverty reduction. As such, LWR aims to improve the livelihoods of millions of smallholder farmers and their families across Africa, Asia and Latin America through sustainable agriculture efforts that focus on building food security and increasing rural incomes through agriculture value chains. LWR employs six core program approaches in its agriculture work, to design and implement integrated programs that meet the needs of target communities and local contexts.

Goal: Improve the livelihoods of millions of people across Africa, Asia, and Latin America through sustainable agriculture

Core Program Area 1: Agriculture Value Chains

LWR works directly with smallholder farmers, farmer associations and cooperatives to optimize their role in agricultural value chains
LWR and the Agricultural Value Chain
Read about LWR's work to leverage community assets to increase rural incomes.
(AVC) to increase incomes. Smallholder farmers and producers can and should effectively benefit from multiple parts of AVCs including procurement of inputs and services, production, post-harvest processing, manufacturing, access to markets, sales and distribution. Through a broad menu of services, including training and assistance to help farmers raise yields to produce a marketable surplus, diversify food and income sources, compete for higher returns, identify and access diverse markets and promote savings and investments for future food and income security, LWR focuses on closing the gap between the participation of and benefits for men and women producers in agriculture value chains.

Core Program Area 2: Food Security

LWR’s approach to ensuring that smallholder farmers and their families have consistent access to sufficient, safe and nutritious foods focuses primarily on increasing food availability and access
LWR, Agricultural Development & Food Security
Read about LWR's work to address the challenge of feeding a growing world.
by increasing agricultural production and incomes. In turn, rural households have more food for their own consumption as well as purchasing power to buy food on the market. Recognizing that improved agricultural production alone is insufficient for food security, LWR endeavors to develop nutrition-sensitive agriculture interventions that do not negatively affect nutritional status. This approach recognizes and responds to gender roles in decision-making, food production, purchase and preparation, which affect food security. LWR also promotes health service linkages and nutrition education and behavior change interventions at a community level.

Core Program Area 3: Capacity Strengthening For Associations & Cooperatives

LWR supports the development and strengthening of farmers’ organizations and networks to provide sustainable and equitable services to farmers. Collective work lowers input costs, increases access to vital services, improves economies of scale and helps build economically healthy and resilient communities. Organized farmers are also better positioned to claim their rights to land and tenure, food security and government entitlements. Capacity development is woven into the entirety of LWR’s work. LWR takes a systems approach to engage the full range of stakeholders in design and implementation of programs, and strengthen civil society so that farmers’ organizations have external and internal credibility and legitimacy to make a sustainable difference for their members.

Core Program Area 4: Financing for Rural Producers

LWR promotes smallholder farmer access to financial services and credit for agricultural investments and to better access markets. We use context-specific approaches to bridge financing gaps, including providing grants for cooperatives to give loans to their members for tools and inputs that are needed; working to build local savings systems for farmers; providing the necessary financial and governance level training to manage credit funds; and/or facilitating contacts with financial credit providers to access loans. LWR’s Tripartite Rural Financing Model
Bridging the Rural Financing Gap: LWR's Tripartite Model
Read about LWR's innovative financial partnerships.
in Africa creates three–way partnerships among LWR, producer associations and financial institutions that were previously beyond producers’ reach.

Core Program Area 5: Climate Smart Agriculture

LWR’s Climate Smart Agriculture
LWR and Climate Smart Agriculture
Read about LWR's approach to agriculture in a changing climate.
(CSA) approach focuses on protecting smallholder farmer agricultural assets in the face of changing climates and environmental degradation, through climate change adaptation and mitigation actions- focused on conservation agriculture and sustainable land management approaches. CSA addresses various components of a sustainable production system, including environmentally friendly cropping practices (such as agro-forestry models, crop diversification), access to improved inputs (drought-tolerant seed varieties), soil conservation and nutrient management, and sustainable water access and use, to foster resilient ecosystems and resources.

Core Program Area 6: Water

Agriculture is highly water dependent, and often very water-intensive. As such, LWR’s water programming
LWR and Water
Read about LWR's work to improve water for agriculture, consumption and sanitation.
improves smallholder farmers’ access to and efficient use of water for agricultural purposes and human consumption, and protects water resources for future generations. Water capture and retention, formation of water and irrigation committees, and related activities increase producer access and support improved water management at the community level. Behavior change, sanitation and hygiene and storage interventions improve water for human consumption, which is an important prerequisite to Food Security. Programs also focus on effective watershed management and water resource protection.

Within the framework of these six core program areas, LWR’s approach is aimed at three interrelated targets:

  1. Increasing production, incomes and food security
  2. Preserving and improving natural resources, and
  3. Developing the capacity of smallholder farmers and their organizations for active engagement with value chains that produce sustainable and just outcomes.

While LWR believes these approaches are the cornerstones to the future of a sustainable global food system, we collaborate with other agricultural stakeholders who may follow other methods, recognizing that many different techniques will be needed to produce more food at affordable prices, ensure livelihoods for smallholder farmers and reduce the environmental costs of agriculture.

 

Relevant Resources

LWR and Agriculture
LWR and Agriculture
Read about LWR's core agricultural strategies and programs.
Ground Up: the LWR Coffee and Cocoa Initiative
Ground Up: the LWR Coffee and Cocoa Initiative
Read about LWR's plan to address the needs of coffee and cocoa producers.
LWR and the Agricultural Value Chain
LWR and the Agricultural Value Chain
Read about LWR's work to leverage community assets to increase rural incomes.
From Emergency Relief to Community Resilience
From Emergency Relief to Community Resilience
Read about how LWR and partners are responding to food insecurity in Niger.
PDFs
English
LWR and Resilience in the Sahel
LWR and Resilience in the Sahel
Read about how LWR is reaching out to those in the Sahel who are undergoing a serious food crisis.
PDFs
English
Empowering Coffee Producers and Cooperatives in Gayo Region
Empowering Small-Scale Coffee Producers and Cooperatives in Gayo Region
Read about how LWR is improving the market potential of coffee in Indonesia's Gayo Region.
PDFs
English
Private Alliances Improve Cocoa Farmer Livelihoods
Private Alliances Improve Cocoa Farmer Livelihoods
Read about how LWR and partners are improving social and productive aspects of the cocoa value chain in Peru.
PDFs
English | Español
Private Alliances Improve Coffee Farmer Livelihoods
Private Alliances Improve Coffee Farmer Livelihoods
Read about how LWR and the Gumutindo Coffee Cooperative Enterprise have worked together to improve coffee chains.
PDFs
English
Protecting and Conserving Water for Agriculture
Protecting and Conserving Water for Agriculture
Read about how LWR and partners are combatting water scarcity in Eastern Kenya.
PDFs
English
Coffee & Cocoa Value Chains Increase Incomes in Rural Nicaragua
Coffee & Cocoa Value Chains Increase Incomes in Rural Nicaragua
Read about how LWR strengthened cooperatives in Nicaragua and maximized their investment of time and resources.
PDFs
English
Divine Chocolate: Our Commitment to Fair Trade
Divine Chocolate: Our Commitment to Fair Trade
Read about how LWR participated in the establishment of the first chocolate company owned and controlled by small-holder farmers.
PDFs
English
Sustainable Landscapes and Adaptation to Changing Climates
Coffee and Cocoa Promote Sustainable Landscapes and Adaptation to Changing Climates
Read about how LWR and partners worked with farmers in Central America to promote sustainable landscaping practices.
PDFs
English
Cocoa in Latin America & the Caribbean
Cocoa in Latin America & the Caribbean
Read about how LWR is helping farmers increase earnings and contribute to sustainable agricultrual development.
PDFs
English | Español
Boosting Women Shallot Producers' Incomes
Boosting Women Shallot Producers' Incomes
Read about how LWR is increasing women's incomes in Mali with improved shallot production and marketing.
PDFs
English
Pathways to Prosperity in the Cocoa Value Chain
Pathways to Prosperity in the Cocoa Value Chain
Read about how LWR is increasing small-holder farmers' access to cocoa markets in Central America.
PDFs
English
LWR, Agricultural Development & Food Security
LWR, Agricultural Development & Food Security
Read about LWR's work to address the challenge of feeding a growing world.
LWR and Climate Smart Agriculture
LWR and Climate Smart Agriculture
Read about LWR's approach to agriculture in a changing climate.
LWR & Seeds
LWR & Seeds
Read how LWR supports participatory research and development of new hybrid seed varieties.
LWR and Quality Cocoa
LWR and Quality Cocoa
Read about LWR's work to increase and improve small-scale production of quality cocoa.
LWR and Quality Coffee
LWR and Quality Coffee
Read about LWR's work to increase and improve the production of quality coffee.
LWR's Tripartite Model
Bridging the Rural Financing Gap: LWR's Tripartite Model
Read about LWR's innovative financial partnerships.