This forestry project in Afghanistan is pushing women to the forefront of climate action

Learn more

How solar energy is helping this Syrian village become more climate-resilient

Learn more

Boosting Tajikistan’s economic potential

Learn more

Community aviaries: Breeding food and income security in Mozambique

Poultry associations are helping internally displaced people to identify new sources of food and income, and …

AKDN / Safira Chirindza

Read more

AKDN interview with Michael Kocher: World Environment Day 2021

Aerial view of solar powered irrigation in Bihar, India, supported by the Aga Khan Rural Support Programme.

AKDN / Aarsh Mehta

Read more

SPEEDRICE: Effortless rice permaculture in Madagascar

The Zanatany Rice Permaculture System integrates trees and shrubs in the fields to boost crop yield and …

AKDN / Didier Van Bignoot

Read more

Growing more from less: Improving food security and incomes in the mountains of Tajikistan

The Aga Khan Foundation has been working with its partners to implement an EU-funded programme designed to …

AKDN / Christopher Wilton-Steer

Read more
languageSwitcherThis page is also available in

AKDN | Agriculture and Food Security

...with support, mountain populations can enhance and maintain freshwater in a manner that contributes effectively to their increased well-being on an ongoing basis. At the same time, the use of water by these communities can be designed to be ecologically and socially responsible from the perspective of downstream communities, watersheds and even countries, that are equally dependent on adequate supplies of fresh water.

His Highness the Aga Khan
Dushanbe, August 2003


Focused on Agriculture and Food Security

AKF-supported greenhouse, Bartang Valley, Tajikistan.

AKDN / Christopher Wilton-Steer

Our main pillars include:

  • community-led development, where AKDN supports locally-driven goals;

  • agricultural assistance, which works with farmers to improve yields;

  • enterprise development and employable skills, which supplements villagers’ farm-based incomes;

  • natural resource management, which includes equitable water use and restoration of degraded land;

  • financial inclusion, which helps smooth erratic incomes; and

  • the creation of rural infrastructure that improves the quality of life, such as bridges, drinking water systems and irrigation canals.

Now in their sixth decade, these programmes are also addressing the emerging challenges of rapidly changing demography, climate change and unpredictable geopolitical circumstances.

The Aga Khan Foundation: Boosting agricultural yields in food-scarce areas

Agriculture remains the single largest employer in the world, providing livelihoods for 28 percent of today’s global population. Small farms worldwide provide up to 80 percent of food consumed in Asia and Sub-Saharan Africa. However, 820 million people worldwide still lack regular access to adequate amounts of food. The changing climate is impacting many farmers.

Boosting agricultural yields in food-scarce areas is at the centre of the Aga Khan Foundation’s (AKF) activities. We aim to provide enduring solutions to chronic or emerging issues. For example, we are mindful of gender equity throughout our activities. It is estimated that eliminating the gender gap would lower the number of undernourished people in the world by 150 million.

Regenerative and Nutrition-Sensitive Food Systems

Our integrated agriculture, livestock and forestry interventions help to improve food security. We provide technical assistance to farmers and others, encouraging regenerative, carbon-neutral and organic farming, household production of inputs, self-reliance, high-quality food production and improved processing and storage. We also support targeted household-level nutrition and food education.

Agricultural Livelihoods and Market Integration

With a focus on including women and youth, and on equitable resource management, we strengthen the capacity of farming communities to build sustainable and resilient livelihoods. We use community structures such as savings groups and farmers’ associations to support financial literacy, economic inclusion and market integration for value chain development.

Enabling Rural Infrastructure

We help communities to establish and maintain critical infrastructure for transport, irrigation, processing and storage.

Research at the University of Central Asia

The Institution of Public Policy and Administration contributes to sound policy and administration in the region. Its research includes topics such as enhancing the productivity and efficiency of the livestock and dairy sector.

Researchers at the Mountain Societies Research Institute study complex earth surface and environmental processes, sharing their knowledge with mountain stakeholders. Projects have included wild fruit species conservation, the identification of drought-surviving beans, sustainable forest use and water resource management.

[A retired teacher in Tajikistan] was able to harvest various kinds of potatoes and wheat to feed his family and to take to market. He also planted alfalfa which he learned through our education programmes helps nourish and prepare the soil. He was able to purchase land from the 30 hectares that the local community organisation acquired, supported by our civil society programme. He is able to save money and find ways to market supported by our economic inclusion work. He watered his crops despite the water access issues exacerbated by climate change because of a canal built through our agriculture and food security work. He is at the heart of what we do.

Didier Van Bignoot, Global Advisor on Sustainable Agriculture and Food Security, Aga Khan Foundation