Agriculture, Food Security, and Nutrition

Food insecurity continues to be a global challenge, primarily in low- and middle-income countries. The COVID-19 pandemic has only exacerbated the issue. In its latest report on food security and nutrition, The United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) estimated that, in 2020, nearly two billion people faced moderate or severe levels of food insecurity.

Key drivers of food insecurity include climate change, conflict, and poverty which, in turn, are the chief causes of displacement and marginalization, intensifying existing inequalities in food access and how food is consumed. To achieve food security, including a diverse and nutritious diet, it is paramount to support sustainable, community-based agriculture. Many international development programs aim to improve food systems by identifying and tackling existing weaknesses, while others, through food and livelihood assistance, help vulnerable populations negatively impacted by natural and man-made disasters.

Smallholder farmers throughout the developing world rely on crops or livestock for food and income. They face many challenges, from pest and disease outbreaks among their livestock, to poor rural infrastructure. Women, who play a key role in agriculture, face additional barriers to production related to limited access to land ownership, education, and credit. Programs that help smallholder farmers manage the many challenges they face play an indispensable part in enhancing sustainable, community-based agriculture.

Our Work

AIR and Kimetrica (a wholly owned subsidiary of AIR) conduct rigorous quantitative and qualitative research of agricultural development projects to better understand how various programs can improve smallholder farmer food security, income, and livelihoods. We also engage in technical assistance activities such as providing third party monitoring (TPM) of food assistance and cash distributions, and other related programs.

AIR and Kimetrica's current work includes projects in Benin, Cameroon, Ethiopia, Ghana, Kenya, India, Madagascar, Mali, Uganda, Tanzania, and Zambia:

Claire Simon
Program Area Lead, Agriculture, Food Security, and Nutrition