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

The Self-Help Summer Gardening Guide is Here!

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

The Graduate Entrepreneurship Program is Undergoing Some Changes

By Zakaria Adams - Training Center Manager This project is undergoing some programming changes during 2021-2022. For that…

The Role of Community Vaccination in Reducing Mortality Rates in Rural Poultry in Ghana

By Justice Amoka Sam - Community Crop and Livestock Specialist Rural poultry production is recognized as an important…

From Farmer to Quality Protein Maize (QPM) Seed Producer

By Rodolfo Ricardo Hernandez Navas - Agriculture Program Officer Ariel is without a doubt one of the most…

Double-row Technology Helps Nicaraguan Farmers Improve Production and Profits

By William Edwards, PhD - Self-Help Board Member Ever since Self-Help International (Self-Help) began working to alleviate hunger…

Innocent Sets Up a Home Garden to Help His Family Improve Their Nutrition

By Justice Amoka Sam - Community Crop and Livestock Specialist According to nutritionists, including vegetables and fruits in…

Akwasi Finds Business Inspiration While Working with Self-Help

By Zakaria Adams - Training Center Manager Many countries in Africa are being faced with a high unemployment…

Omar Learns How to Increase His Yields While Using Less Land

By Rodolfo Ricardo Hernandez Navas - Agriculture Program Officer Across Nicaragua, farmers are greatly challenged by irregular crop…