100&Change: 2021

Mercy Corps

Transforming Small-Scale Farming in the Face of Climate Change

Digital innovation can revolutionize the way small-scale farmers feed the world. Mercy Corps, NASA and Digital Green are joining forces to make it happen.

Submitted: August 2019
DOWNLOAD: Project Factsheet
Two-page overview of proposal
Competition Participation
100&Change: 2021
Food security
Current Work Location(s):
  • Nairobi, Kenya
  • Lusaka Province, Zambia
  • Dar es Salaam Region, Tanzania
  • Federal Capital Territory, Nigeria
  • Ādīs Ābeba Āstedader, Ethiopia
  • National Capital Territory of Delhi, India
  • Yangon Region, Myanmar
  • Nairobi, Kenya
  • Ādīs Ābeba Āstedader, Ethiopia
  • Daerah Khusus Ibukota Jakarta, Indonesia
Priority Population(s):
  • Low-income people
  • Farmers
Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs):
  • 1. No poverty
  • 2. Zero hunger
  • 5. Gender equality
  • 8. Decent work and economic growth
  • 9. Industry, innovation and infrastructure
  • 10. Reduced inequalities
  • 13. Climate action
  • 15. Life on land

Executive Summary

Small-scale farmers are struggling to feed the world in the face of climate change. But what if the solution was already in their pocket? Leveraging the power of mobile phones, Mercy Corps’ innovative AgriFin program is taking small-scale farming from subsistence to sustainable. We catalyze a global network of partners to create digital “one-stop-shops” that farmers can access anytime, anywhere – from better seeds to banking services. Our approach has already helped over 3 million farmers increase their harvests and incomes. Now, as population growth and climate change collide to create new challenges for farmers worldwide, it’s time to up our game. Together with NASA and Digital Green, we’ll leverage on-the-ground expertise and space-borne satellite technology to help farmers adapt to a changing climate. And with support from the MacArthur Foundation, we can mobilize 25 million small-scale farmers to transform the way they feed the world.

Organization Details
Lead Organization

Mercy Corps

website: https://www.mercycorps.org/
Organization Headquarters
Snohomish County, Washington, United States
Organization ID
Annual Operating Budget
$200 to $499 Million
Number of Full-time Employees
> 1,000

Charity, fund, non-governmental organization, religious institution, school, or other entity

COVID-19 Response

Mercy Corps’ AgriFin is engaging a game-changing coalition of partners to rapidly respond to a worsening food security crisis, brought on by years of unprecedented drought, flooding, and pests, and exacerbated by COVID-19. Experts estimate the COVID-19 pandemic could tip over 130 million more people into chronic hunger by the end of 2020. Together with our partners, we’re using satellite data to track how much food is available and where. We’re communicating with 8 million farmers through multiple channels like SMS, radio, IVR and call centers to provide them with essential information including how to deal with pests and how to spot and treat COVID infection. As COVID-19 propels all of us to break through stasis and silos, AgriFin and its partners are rapidly adapting to meet emerging needs.

Racial and Ethnic Injustice Response

The economic and social consequences of COVID-19 are still unfolding in Africa and Asia, as countries struggle to control the spread of infection and an increasingly dire economic situation. Rising rates of food insecurity and other concurrent shocks and stresses like natural disasters and pervasive inequality augment the burden on vulnerable families. To ensure we can continue to reach the most vulnerable - especially women, who are statistically less likely to have access to mobile devices - AgriFin is tailoring content and using more accessible mediums like TV, radio and partner platforms with 40-50% women users.