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Core Program Areas

Agriculture Education Emergencies Health HIV and AIDS Microfinance Peacebuilding Water and Sanitation

Cross-Cutting Areas

Capacity Strengthening Climate Change ICT4D IHD Monitoring and Evaluation Youth

CRS and Agricultural Livelihoods

During the next five years, we and our partners will provide a “pathway to prosperity” for 2 million rural households, or 12 million people. We will help them Recover, Build and Grow to achieve prosperous and resilient agricultural livelihoods.

Pathways to Prosperity

CRS is committed to working with the most vulnerable families all along the pathway. We support rural families in their efforts to leave poverty, attain food and nutrition security, adapt to climate change, and improve their livelihoods.

Each phase of the process includes asset building, risk reduction and equitable changes to systems and structures that support long-term resilience and the ability to Rebound from adversity, in line with the CRS Integral Human Development framework.

Our capacity

For more than three decades, CRS has helped agricultural communities to recover from natural disasters and civil strife, rebuild their productive assets and progressively engage with markets on equitable terms.

Currently, we have agricultural programming in 45 countries, including 31 countries in sub-Saharan Africa, 7 countries in Latin America and the Caribbean and 7 countries in Asia and the Middle East.

In 2012, our total expenditure in support of agricultural programming was $146 million. This represents a twofold increase over the level of expenditure in 2006. With this expenditure, we reached 3.6 million smallholder farmer families with services provided through local implementing partners.

This is equivalent to 21 million direct and indirect beneficiaries. Our in-country agricultural programming is supported by a team of six global technical advisors and eight advisors located in CRS’ eight regions. Each country with agricultural programming has additional staff with agricultural expertise, who work with and provide support to our local implementing partners.


31 countries
in sub-Saharan Africa


7 countries in Latin America and the Caribbean


7 countries in Asia and the Middle East


3.6 million smallholder farmer families


21 million
direct and indirect beneficiaries


$146 million investment in 2012

Our products and services

With our partners and collaborators, we develop innovative products and services that local implementing partners deliver to our target populations. We tailor these products and services to the needs of each group depending on its progress along the Recover, Build and Grow pathway.

We develop gender-responsive and conflict-sensitive approaches, tools and technologies in the following areas:

  • Market-based transfers of food, inputs and infrastructure
  • Household and group financial and business management
  • Watershed and natural resource management
  • Crop and livestock management
  • Nutrition-sensitive agriculture
  • Climate-smart agriculture
  • Market-engagement skills for farm families, organizations and other rural actors
  • Equitable relations between smallholder farmers and other value chain actors
  • Youth engagement in production, postproduction and related activities

Our partners and collaborators

Nearly all of our agricultural programming is implemented through local development partners. Our partner of choice is respective diocesan development organization, such as Caritas. In most locations, we also partner with secular nongovernmental development organizations, national agricultural extension services and the private sector. We establish collaborative relationships with international and national development organizations to complement our skills and experience.

CRS works with research partners to develop new options, test and validate prototypes, scale up proven technologies, and gather evidence to influence policy and practice. Some of our research partners are Cornell University, the University of Illinois, the University of Notre Dame, Purdue University, and CGIAR centers and research programs.

Increasingly, we engage with multinational and national private companies such as Green Mountain Coffee Roasters, the Jollibee Foods Corporation, Hortifruti and Agricultural Commodity Supplies. We pursue win-win outcomes that are inclusive, equitable and sustainable.



CRS and Agricultural Livelihoods

Download the PDF in English (190 KB)
Download the PDF in French (647 KB)


Publication details

Publisher: Catholic Relief Services (June 2013)
Fact sheet: 2 pages
Language: English
Dimensions: 8.5 x 11 inches


Updated on July 3, 2014

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