Transforming Livelihoods

It starts with the land. CRS is answering the Gospel call to alleviate suffering in a bold way—moving farming families out of poverty by restoring degraded land.

I think this is the first time that I've really seen a project which has the potential to dramatically transform lives at scale, and also to rebuild a landscape.”

—Shaun Ferris, Technical Director of Agriculture and Livelihoods for Catholic Relief Services

The Need

Each year, CRS supports more than 150 million people in more than 100 countries. Now it is time to take our work to scale. Through its Vision 2030 agency strategy, CRS has identified priority outcomes that best align to our mission and expertise. One of those priorities is transforming livelihoods.

$45.5 Million
Transforming Livelihoods Campaign Target
1 Million
Farmers Transforming Landscapes and Livelihoods
4 Million
Acres of Land Transformed by Improved Farming Practices
$126.5 Million
External Investment Mobilized
Coffee producers Carmelina Carranza Díaz and Luis Ramón Mejía Díaz use ASA practices to grow the coffee on their farms in Zacapa, Guatemala. Water-Smart Agriculture - Agua y Suelo para la Agricultura (ASA) – is the proven practice of managing soil to manage water and increase yields. Farmers across Central America and Mexico are maximizing the potential of their land and rainfall using ASA’s practical and effective farm management practices.

The Opportunity

Over the next 10 years, we will restore degraded land and reduce poverty—protecting the planet for future generations. Together, we will help lead a global restoration movement—one that restores not only land, but also the well-being and dignity of the world’s most vulnerable people.

Through Go FAR, CRS will help 1 million productive farmers grow better crops, feed their families and overcome poverty and hunger, while restoring 4 million acres of land.

Why It Matters: Transforming Livelihoods

The world’s most vulnerable people depend on farming for food and income. But far too many live on degraded land that cannot produce crops—poverty, unemployment, conflict and migration all escalate as a result.

We are poised to build on our successful agricultural programming to transform livelihoods and landscapes on a regional scale.

We are proud to share the stories of the people we serve as we transform livelihoods and lives together.

Madame Félicité sorts her vanilla beans and prepares them to be curated.

Key Projects

Protecting Rainforests in Madagascar

Madagascar is an epicenter of unique biodiversity, with rare and valuable rainforests. But the people of Madagascar aren’t benefitting from its astounding resources. Instead, they are living in extreme poverty and struggling to feed their families. By helping farmers grow spices like vanilla, turmeric and cinnamon, CRS is helping Malagasy farmers increase their income from $300 to $3,000 per year—and protecting rainforests for future generations.

Promoting Water-Smart Agriculture

About 75% of farmland in Central America suffers from degraded soil. Smart agricultural choices are vital—now more than ever—but some traditional farming techniques have become detrimental in the long term. We help people learn practical, effective methods to grow plentiful harvests, restore soil, manage water and adapt to increasingly volatile climates. By regenerating and protecting soil, and making efficient use of water, CRS will optimize productivity so farmers can get the most out of every raindrop.