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/month makes a difference

You can sponsor all the necessary training and inputs for two farmers. 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

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Progress Report: Growing Healthy Food, Growing Healthy Children

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How Self-Help is Changing Lives of Nicaraguan Farmers Through Education & Conversation

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