IDG takes a comprehensive, multi-dimensional approach to the complex problem of food security, focusing at the levels of households, farms and other agricultural entities, local and national governments, and civil society organizations. Food security solutions must be market-based to be sustainable but also must ensure a broad reduction in risks for households along the entire vulnerable end of the income distribution. Strategies should aim at increasing productivity of subsistence farmers, raising the competitiveness of value chains, widening trade and distribution, strengthening agriculture finance, and giving households the skills they need to plan nutrition, manage their resources, and mitigate the risks they face.
IDG works on the following areas:
- Introducing technologies to increase agricultural productivity at the farm and processing levels.
- Decreasing post-harvest losses.
- Strengthening market linkages, bringing more small farmers into the cash economy, and linking medium and larger farmers to national and international markets.
- Helping households and communities improve risk management techniques to mitigate shocks.
- Assisting the more efficient and broader provision of finance in rural areas.
- Teaching nutrition, and helping families plan for producing or acquiring a wider diversity of foods.
- Linking nutrition and food security programs into innovative health assistance networks.
- Strengthening local institutions.
- Utilizing existing social networks to facilitate the dissemination of knowledge and skills to vulnerable households.
- Teaching better hygiene.
- Introducing low-cost innovative technologies for food production, storage, and preparation.
- Addressing gender issues among households and agricultural value chains, to facilitate greater focus on nutrition in household expenditure, investment and employment decisions.