Strengthening Agro-biodiversity in Southern Africa

Progetto concluso

The project promotes seed diversity and agro-ecological practices through an inclusive, evidence-based dialogue with governments at regional and country levels by empowered farmer’s and farmer support organizations ensuring that their experiences are taken into account in the development of policies and programmes in agriculture. This will thus strengthen food security in Southern Africa.

Paese/Regione Tema Periodo Budget
Comunità di sviluppo dell'Africa meridionale (SADC)
Agricoltura e sicurezza alimentare
Stato di diritto - democrazia - diritti dell'uomo
Politica agricola
01.09.2016 - 31.08.2019
CHF  1’050’000

Agro-biodiversity and healthy agro-ecological systems are vital for livelihoods: together they enhance food security, strengthen social cohesion, and build climate resilience. This is relevant in most countries of Africa in general, and more specifically southern Africa where a majority of the resource-poor population is practicing subsistence farming.

In Southern Africa, national governments and their constituencies often do not master the terms of the debate that many call for around issues of biodiversity, farmers’rights and trade issues in relation to plant genetic resources for food.

In the rare event consultative processes are organized, government representatives, small-scale farmers and farmer support organizations are frequently denied a voice. Yet, the impact that pieces of legislation currently on the drafting board are likely to have on small-scale farmers and the economies they support is a matter of concern.


To promote seed diversity and agro-ecological practices in order to strengthen food security in Southern Africa

Gruppi target

The project tragets the following groups:

  • Small-scale farmer organizations and farmer support associations in the SADC region
  • National governments in the regional as well as regional entities (SADC, EAC, COMESA)
  • Resource-poor farmers, particularly women and youth
Effetti a medio termine

The project has three outcomes:

  1. Biosafety is secured in Southern Africa;
  2. Agricultural biodiversity is secured in Southern Africa; and
  3. Alternatives to corporate expansion in Southern African agriculture are available to smallholder farmers.



Risultati principali attesi:  

Southern African CSOs have responded effectively to seed laws and policies;

Participatory research and learning to build evidence and advocate for farmer-managed seed systems (FMSS) is operational; and

Policies and programmes that protect, support and strengthen FMSS are in place or on government agenda.

Risultati fasi precedenti:  

The key results from the previous phase include:

  • Building awareness among CSOs in the region on seed laws, intellectual property and farmers’ rights and supporting their participation to policy processes
  • Participating and challenging the SADC draft plant variety protection protocol that finally recognized farmers’ rights by inserting a clause on disclosure of origin;
  • Establishing a seed platform in Zimbabwe that works on strengthening community based seed systems
  • Construction of enduring country-level field research partnerships, which will be pivotal in the participatory research planned for in this current phase; and
  • Facilitating information sharing and movement building on the continent on the issues of seed, agro-ecology and biosafety.

Direzione/Ufficio responsabile DSC
Credito Cooperazione allo sviluppo
Partner del progetto Partner contrattuale
ONG internazionale o straniera

Coordinamento con altri progetti e attori

Bioversity International, International Institute for Sustainable Development, AFSA (Africa), ESAFF (East and Southern Africa), CTDT (Zimbabwe), MVIWATA (Tanzania), NASFAM (Malawi), UNAC (Mozambique), Biowatch (South Africa)

Budget Fase in corso Budget Svizzera CHF    1’050’000 Budget svizzero attualmente già speso CHF    1’097’714
Fasi del progetto Fase 3 01.09.2019 - 30.06.2024   (Completed)

Fase 2 01.09.2016 - 31.08.2019   (Completed)

Fase 1 01.07.2013 - 31.08.2016   (Completed)