economic development icon of a chart.
Economic Development

Ending poverty begins with agriculture

We work with farmers and their communities to identify opportunities that deliver living incomes, creating solutions to local challenges that are designed to build inclusive, resilient economies.


Woman writing in a ledger.
Woman carrying eggs to be delivered to the market.

Cultivating a secure source of income 

Farming is a complex business. Crops and livestock are vulnerable to disease and extreme weather. Markets can be difficult to access. And when your products are ready to go to market, they’ll often arrive at the same time as all your competitors.

But in many countries around the world, farming is not only the biggest source of people’s livelihood, it’s also where some of the biggest economic development opportunities lie.

At Heifer International, we believe ending poverty begins with agriculture.

Entrepreneurial spirit

Building Sustainable Businesses

We know that a secure source of income can be truly transformational for families and their communities. We work with farmers and their communities to identify opportunities within value chains that deliver living incomes.

We create unique solutions to local challenges that are designed to build inclusive, resilient economies. And we partner with local NGOs to maximize our impact and interface with local governments to unlock additional funding as a leverage to our investment, and the investments made by communities themselves.

Values-based Partnerships

We deploy our own capital and technology, alongside farmers and private sector partners who share our values. We know the best way to build resilience is for individual communities to envision what their future looks like and see that it’s possible. Our mission is to help them build it.

See how Heifer is helping build economies

Learn more about East Africa Youth Inclusion Project.

East Africa Youth Inclusion Project

The majority of Uganda and Tanzania’s populations are youth, who grow up in poverty.

Learn More About East Africa Youth Inclusion Project
East Africa Youth Inclusion project members calculate earnings
Learn more about INCOME Project, Cambodia.

INCOME Project, Cambodia

Through specialized production techniques, cooperatives and connections to local markets, Cambodian families earn living incomes.

Learn More About INCOME Project, Cambodia
INCOME project, Cambodia

Our Work Areas

Learn more about Environmental Sustainability.
hands planting a crop.

Environmental Sustainability

We believe women-led, small-scale farming is the future of our economy and our relationship with the Earth.

Learn more about Food Security and Nutrition.
mother and child harvesting fruit while laughing

Food Security and Nutrition

With increased productivity of livestock and crops, farmers provide for their families and improve the health of their communities.

Learn more about Risk Mitigation and Resilience.
Man and woman working with bee hives.

Risk Mitigation and Resilience

We help people forge the first connections so that they can shift from subsistence to sustainability – from reliance on others to resilience.

Learn more about Women's Empowerment and Social Capital.
Women's Empowerment Malawi

Women’s Empowerment and Social Capital

Investing in women is key to ending hunger and poverty. And it’s at the very center of our community development approach.