Improving Food Security Worldwide

“These new methods of farming give us enough food to make sure we don’t go to bed hungry.”

– Kingston, program participant, PCI/Malawi

Overview

Regularly having enough nutritious food to eat, or food security, is necessary for human beings to thrive. However, food security is something millions of people struggle with worldwide—nearly 11 percent of the global population is grappling with hunger. The majority of these people live in developing and/or conflict-affected countries where food security issues are at least 40 percent higher than developed nations, making food security and poverty inextricably linked.

Sufficient food production, the ability to access it, climate change, and conflict displacement, along with a growing global population, are among the many challenges facing families and communities who struggle to put nutritious food on the table. These families and communities also often make a living from farming.

In the past decade, we’ve seen a dramatic increase in the number of individuals forced to leave their homes due to conflict, which is a major cause of food insecurity. People have also had their livelihoods stressed from an escalation of cyclical natural disasters such as droughts and floods—a 50 percent increase from the previous decade. These repeating shocks often have severe implications on the food security and livelihood of many vulnerable populations.

Improving Agricultural Practices to Support Food Security

Our agricultural food security strategies are designed to improve farming methods—protecting farmers from stressors while supporting improved production growth and sustainable approaches tailored to their unique, individual needs.

PCI programs provide access to knowledge, inputs, markets, and ongoing support of sustainable agricultural practices for farmers, helping them produce a steady source of food, increase their income, and gain a new standard of stability and financial security. Program participants often emerge as change leaders in their communities who encourage others to practice sustainable agriculture methods that conserve soil and improve their production. These practices have helped increase profits, decrease malnutrition, and improve food security within their communities.

With a rapidly changing weather conditions, PCI believes climate change adaptation in the agricultural sector works hand-in-hand with improving food security and nutrition. In turn, we utilize the principles of climate-smart and nutritionally-targeted agriculture practices in our programs, which are designed to strengthen the resilience of rural farmers and help them cope with the ongoing threats of climate change and crop loss. These practices include promoting conservation agriculture, integrated pest management, rainwater harvesting and small-scale irrigation, agroforestry systems, enhanced poultry and livestock production, improved grazing systems, and improved post-harvest crop storage.

PCI strengthens market access for small rural farmers to support sustainable, lasting local economic development, improved livelihoods and help ensure the availability of nutritious foods. We work with local agribusinesses to forge permanent ties with small farmers and to help them access improved inputs like seed for drought tolerant crops and the animal care necessary for their flocks and herds to thrive.

children eating

Nourishing Bodies and Minds with School Feeding Programs

PCI delivers essential nutrition, education, health, and development services to children attending schools in poor and underserved communities worldwide. More than 300,000 children receive a healthy meal every school day through PCI’s USDA-supported school feeding programs. This daily dose of nutrition ensures vulnerable students, especially girls, have the energy they need to focus in the classroom and learn while boosting attendance rates.

PCI promotes food security through our school feeding programs by:

  • Establishing school gardens as an important source of food and education
  • Training parents and students on hygienic and nutritious food preparation
  • Working with community farmers supporting their school feeding programs on effective farming and food storage techniques to increase and retain yields
  • Developing sustainability action plans which focus on activities such as maintaining school meals through local food production and securing donations from local businesses and local governments
  • Constructing latrines that accommodate the needs of adolescent girls and handwashing stations to prevent illnesses that rob students of nutrients and their ability to attend classes

Using Technology to Support Farmers

Supporting Pastoralists in Africa with AfriScout

PCI is revolutionizing the way pastoralists in Africa find pasture and water for their animals using the power of satellite and mobile technology. Developed by PCI, the AfriScout mobile application provides pastoralists with current information on water and vegetation conditions through localized community grazing maps on their phones. This information helps them make more accurate and cost-effective migration decisions, improve pasture management, and reduce the risk of herd loss.

Pastoralists can make more informed migration decisions, avoid degraded pastures, as well as monitor past forage conditions, giving them the ability to analyze climatic changes in their local areas over time. Additionally, the unique crowd-sourcing system of geolocated alerts enables pastoralists to enhance collaboration in land management and warn each other of potential conflict, animal disease, or additional hazards that may impact the safety and security of their herd and their families.

How can you help?

Support PCI’s efforts to enhance health, end hunger and overcome hardship worldwide.

Donate

Fighting Fall Armyworm with AfriFARM

PCI, in partnership with software solution company Dimagi, developed an award-winning smartphone application called AfriFARM (Fall Armyworm Response Mechanism) to fight the growing global fall armyworm infestation. This pest, which is thought to have originated in the Americas, is now present across all continents and spreading fast. Fall armyworm attacks over 350 plant species and can reduce yields in staple crops by 35 percent or more, thereby significantly affecting food security.

AfriFARM is designed to improve fall armyworm education and help identify, scout, and treat fall armyworm by providing information on pest management to smallholder farmers and agricultural extension agents working to combat the pest. App users are able to identify the pest, geographically track its location, calculate levels of infestation, and understand different treatment options locally available to them.

Recent News

View All

Keep in Touch

Subscribe today and stay current on our efforts to enhance health, end hunger, overcome hardship and advance women & girls worldwide!

Sign up to receive updates