Approaches to SuPER Agriculture

Approaches to SuPER Agriculture

Publication info


CARE takes a holistic approach to its smallholder agriculture systems work – from the natural resource base to inputs to production to processing and marketing to nutrition to social protection and onwards. This concerns work primarily with people and then with water, soil, pasture, livestock, crops, vegetables, trees, fish etc. It often involves work beyond direct engagement with smallholder production, such as with commercial farmers who support out-grower schemes with smallholders, work on agro-dealer or extension systems or in post-harvest processing and storage and work with researchers and policy- and decision-makers (governance systems) from local and national to regional and global levels. Agro-ecological approaches, that sustainably increase productivity, are key for CARE and low or minimal use of external inputs is fundamental to our approaches.

Our work with smallholders involves innovation and leadership in inclusive markets and financial services, savings and loans, climate information services and extension and advisory work. CARE’s work is comprehensive but the most important factor is our understanding and belief that reversing the inequities in the provision of services and support for women and men is essential for improved food and nutrition security and social justice.

CARE’s goal is to strengthen sustainable smallholder agricultural systems to improve food and nutrition security for farmers, workers and consumers. We pay particular attention to women and girls, who face additional barriers to access and food and nutrition security.

We focus on eight core approaches and three foundational strategies to multiply impact (see diagram, right).  These approaches and strategies work together to address communities needs in the face of unjust systems and changing climate.

The aspiration of ‘the CARE approach’ is action that responds to local realities and addresses structural causes of poverty and injustice. Using a detailed analysis of local power dynamics, inequalities, and situations, for each context we select a combination of approaches from our menu of approaches, as well as a building in new innovations.  These approaches then build on our four strategies for multiplying impact.  These three strategies are common across all of our programming to create lasting change.

Some examples of our programming include Pathways, Farmer's Field Schools in Mozambique, and the Agriculture Extension Program in Bangladesh.