Protecting livelihoods

We are helping to protect the fields farmed by smallholders so that their soil remains fertile, and to restore fertility to land that has become infertile

Agriculture in developing countries must become more productive so that our planet can grow enough food to feed the growing global population. However, at the same time, we must protect and conserve the planet's vital natural resources, i.e. water, land and biodiversity.

Currently, around six million hectares of land become infertile each year. Fields become parched, saline, worn out or degraded because they are farmed incorrectly or over-intensively. And climate change exacerbates this problem.

As part of our "ONE WORLD – No Hunger" initiative we have launched a programme to protect soil. In five countries, we are testing new ways of preserving or restoring soil fertility. The findings made there will be rolled out across other regions.

Making fields fertile again

The aim of our soil protection and restoration programme is to protect or restore the fertility of the fields being farmed by smallholders. The programme focuses on issues such as irrigation, organic fertilisation and crop rotation.

At the political level, we work to create financial incentives for the smallholders to use their fields and treat their soils in a responsible manner.