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

Sometimes Rabbits Need Parenting Lessons, Too

  By Emmanuel Obiri Laryea - Agriculture & Entrepreneurship Program Officer Rabbit farming is a profitable business venture…

Gifty Discovers Multiple Benefits in the Micro-Credit Program

By Benjamin Yeboah and Bernard Ato Brown - Micro-Credit Officers Gifty is 35 years old, and she farms…

Improving Agriculture to Fight Hunger and Malnutrition

By Jorge Campos Solis - Nicaragua Country Director In keeping with our mission to "eradicate hunger and malnutrition in…

Helping Farmers to Increase Yields, Incomes, and Food Security

By Jorge Campos, Nicaragua Country Director Most farmers in the world have about 40 growing seasons, or 40…

Developing and Supporting Young Agripreneurs Like Moses

By: Emmanuel Obiri Laryea Youth Unemployment Impacts Everyone Ghana has a young population, with approximately 57% of people…

Nicaraguan Farmers Astounded by Quality and Quantity of Maize Production

By Jorge Luis Campos Solis - Nicaragua Country Director   Located in the middle of Lake Cocibolca (or…

It’s Not Easy, but it’s Worth It: Growing Orange-Fleshed Sweet Potato

By Patience Obour - Nutrition Program Officer Elizabeth, a mother of two from the village of Beposo in…

Agricultural Entrepreneurship Team Creates Demand for Orange-Fleshed Sweet Potato in Ashanti Region

By Bernard Frimpong Bannor - Agriculture & Entrepreneurship Program Officer In Self-Help International’s quest to alleviate hunger, research…