Strengthening Agro-biodiversity in Southern Africa

The project’s goal is to strengthen food security in Southern Africa by promoting 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.  

Paese/Regione Tema Periodo Budget
Comunità di sviluppo dell'Africa meridionale (SADC)
Agricoltura e sicurezza alimentare
Politica agricola
Ricerca agricola
01.09.2019 - 31.08.2023
CHF 1'550'000

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 southern Africa where the vast majority of the resource-poor population is practicing subsistence farming. By promoting a diversity of seed and agro-ecological practices, the project will strengthen food security in the region. It will achieve this through an inclusive dialogue at regional and country levels that take into account farmer and farmer support organizations voices in the development of policies and programmes in agriculture and food security.

The project will enable the use of research and information on seed and soil fertility policies, regulations and programmes by small-scale farmers and farmer support organizations in advocating for agrobiodiversity, food security and farmers’ rights. Furthermore, policies and programmes that protect and support farmer-managed seed systems are being developed and promoted so as to mitigate the environmental and social impacts of the industrial food system.

Thus, the project will strengthen and sustain a dynamic regional CSO scene active on issues of seed, food and soil fertility, connecting farmers to consumers. Farmer support organizations will systematically engage national governments and regional bodies on these issues. They will also have access to protocols, laws, regulations and programmes that articulate the needs and aspirations of different segments of society to benefit small-scale farmers and their families.

As highlighted by an external review conducted in December 2015, the single phase implementation of the project (2013 - 2016) was very successful in developing the capacity of civil society and farmer’s organizations in their role of advocating for agrobiodiversity, including the promotion of farmers’ access to diversified seeds and agro-ecological practices. The review provided an opportunity to test an innovative approach that SDC will now further support through a longer-term collaboration with a regional partner.

The project is coherent with the strategic framework that seeks to empower subsistence farmers and their families through increasing their resilience to food and nutrition insecurity. It is also in line with the SADC food and nutrition security strategy whose first strategic objective seeks improved productivity of diverse, safe and nutritious food, and with global initiatives such as the International Treaty for Plant Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture.

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

Estimated operational start of intervention:

Main credit Phase 1: September 2016

Budget Fase in corso Budget Svizzera CHF   1'550'000 Budget svizzero attualmente già speso CHF   490'000
Fasi del progetto Fase 3 01.09.2019 - 31.08.2023   (Fase in corso) Fase 2 01.09.2016 - 31.08.2019   (Completed) Fase 1 01.07.2013 - 31.08.2016   (Completed)