Improving Agriculture

Families can be fed all-year round

Families face three big problems: they often cannot afford meat, dairy, and eggs in their diet; they don’t have the proper irrigation to sustain crops during the dry season; and they don’t have suitable storage for their harvest. With all of these things combined, it makes it hard for a family not to go hungry.


37 percent

When farmers can utilize silos and wait for the market to rebound, they can reduct postharvest loss by over 1/3.

90 percent

Quality Protein Maize contains about 90% of the digestible protein found in a glass of skim milk.

$25 makes a difference

You can sponsor all the necessary training and inputs for two farmers every month. Click here to donate.


“I am so grateful to Self-Help for all I’ve gained. I used to scatter seeds at random. I used creole seed instead of QPM, and didn’t use fertilizers. Now I know more and my yields have doubled compared to when I grew creole seed.” 




Training farmers in improved practices so they can double their yields.

A high protein product, improved technology, and proper storage

Quality Protein Maize (QPM) was developed by World Food Prize Laureates Drs. Surinder Vasal and Evangelina Villegas in the late 1990s. It contains about 90% of the digestible protein found in a glass of skim milk, making it a locally-appropriate source of protein for subsistence for farmers who cannot afford to feed meat, dairy, or eggs to their families.This simple seed switch can provide a significant amount of nutrition to families in need, and it also supports our school feeding program.

Self Help also brings technology, like drip irrigation, to farmers. This allows them to use water more efficiently, grow food during the dry season (when families tend to go hungry), and maximize yields.

As yields increase, post-harvest storage becomes critical—no one wants to sell when prices are low. Simple, locally-made silos enable farmers to wait for the market to rebound and reduce post-harvest loss by 37%.

Promoting community education and ownership

A better product only helps if a farmer can produce it. In 2015, 300 youth and farmers attended training sessions on practical agricultural enterprises at our training sites in Nicaragua and Ghana. We want to ensure their knowledge can be put into action to create long-term sustainability.


Read a story about improving agriculture

Innovating Agricultural Practices to Deal With Pest Infestations in Ghana

By Justice Amoka Sam - Community Crop and Livestock Specialist Promoting the growing and consumption of nutrient-rich crops…

Pedro Combines Traditional Methods and New Techniques to Increase His Yields and Teach Other Farmers

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Young People Have the Ability to Shape the Future of Agriculture in Ghana

By Justice Amoka Sam - Community Crop and Livestock Specialist In Self-Help International’s partner communities in Ghana, it…

Self-Help Works with Ag Leaders to Explore Certified QPM Seed Production on Ometepe Island

By Katie Seifert - Program Manager (Latin America) By promoting Quality Protein Maize (QPM), Self-Help International’s agricultural program in…

Encouraging Young People to Get Involved in Agriculture

By Justice Amoka Sam - Community Crop and Livestock Specialist Self-Help International is working with rural communities and…

Farmer Leaders in Nicaragua Help Their Neighbors Obtain Production Loans

By Rodolfo Ricardo Hernandez Navas - Agriculture Program Officer The mission of Self-Help International is to, “Alleviate hunger…

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Summer is just around the corner, which means it's time to start gardening! Self-Help International has you covered…

What are graduates of Self-Help’s Agricultural Entrepreneur Program up to now?

By Zakaria Adams - Training Center Manager What are members of the 2019-20 Graduate Entrepreneur Program cohort up to…