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  • At a research station outside Ishkashim in northern Afghanistan farmers plant potato seeds until they grow into small bulbs which can then be distributed to other farmers for planting. AKDN helps establish these stations to ensure the distribution of better quality seeds and more nutritious agricultural produce. Initiatives like these are aimed at improving food security, especially during the winter period.
    AKF / Andrew Quilty
  • Agricultural diversification is important not only to increase profitability but also to improve livelihoods and nutrition. Orchards, whose produce contain vital supplies of vitamins and are good cash crops, are important to achieve this goal. Mirzoev Muhabat, a beneficiary of 500 fruit trees from an AKDN initiative, has planted pear, peach, apricot, cherry and walnut trees.
    AKDN / Jean-Luc Ray
  • Rice farmers in Lindi, Tanzania.
    AKDN / Lucas Cuervo Moura
  • AKF’s Mountain Societies Development Support Programme in Kyrgyz Republic.
    AKDN / Jean-Luc Ray
  • The Coastal Rural Support Programme in Tanzania, or CRSP(T), is a multi-input area development programme of the Aga Khan Foundation (AKF). Local farmers here are being trained on conservation agriculture in maize and cassava fields.
    AKDN / Lucas Cuervo Moura
Agriculture and food security - Overview

Boosting agricultural yields in food-scarce areas has been at the centre of the Aga Khan Foundation (AKF)’s activities since it began.  Agriculture remains the single largest employer in the world, providing livelihoods for 40 percent of today’s global population.  The world’s 500 million small farms worldwide provide up to 80 percent of the food consumed.

However, 800 million people worldwide still lack regular access to adequate amounts of food.  Adding to the traditional challenges is a changing climate that is impacting many farmers: global emissions of carbon dioxide have increased by almost 50 percent since 1990; and Himalayan snow and ice are expected to decline 20 percent by 2030.

In organising AKF’s activities in the following categories, AKF aims to provide enduring solutions to chronic or emerging issues.  For example, it is mindful of how the gender gap affects agriculture and food security.  It is estimated that the elimination of the gender gap would lower the number of undernourished people in the world by 150 million.