Agriculture and food security

Women plant rice in a wet field.
In rural areas, agriculture is still the only possible economic activity in many countries. © CGIAR

Hunger and malnutrition not only endanger the health of people but pose a significant threat to the overall development of a country. The SDC is committed to ensuring adequate, sufficient and good-quality food for all, taking into account  the entire food value chain: from the fields where food is produced, to storage and processing, markets, trade, transport and up to consumers via diet.

The SDC works worldwide to secure the human right to adequate food. It designs its activities with the aim of giving poorer and disadvantaged population groups, such as smallholder farmers, women and young people, equal access to education, productive resources and markets. The SDC helps them to make productive but sustainable use of natural resources and supports them in dealing with the effects of climate change, with the storage and marketing of their produce and with continuous adaptation to changing environmental conditions. Throughout all these endeavors, the SDC persistently pays special attention to the preservation of the highly endangered biodiversity in each context. It also promotes needs-oriented research and advisory services.

In addition, the SDC encourages innovations all along the food value chain that provide consumers with a healthy and diverse diet by facilitating access to suitable foodstuffs, both in rural and in urban areas.

Sustainable agriculture ensures a healthy diet, preserves biodiversity, and is the basis for securing the human right to adequate food. With this goal in mind, Switzerland engages in international cooperation in the field of food security. The Swiss agriculture sector, with its multifunctional, family-based and environmentally-friendly food production geared to social and regional balance, acts as a role model.

Access to food

Ensuring the right to adequate food for poor and disadvantaged sections of the population by means of fair food systems ('from farm to fork').

Smallholder and family farming

The SDC helps smallholders and family farms to adapt to change and to boost production in a sustainable way. The UN has declared 2014 the International Year of Family Farming.

Land rights

Promoting equitable access to land and natural resources, thereby strengthening the autonomy of rural communities.

Biodiversity

Preserving crop diversity and improving seed systems, by drawing on local knowledge and valuing the conservation of traditional varieties.

Preventing desertification and soil erosion

Protecting and preserving soil fertility.

Food aid

Ensuring that people caught up in conflicts, crises and disasters are provided with basic food supplies and other goods and services.

Documents

Current projects

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Access Agriculture: Videos for Farmers

01.12.2015 - 31.12.2020

Access Agriculture is a global web platform aiming at providing easy access to agricultural learning and training videos of quality. Over 250 quality training videos will be available and translated into more than 60 local languages. These videos are targeted at small-scale farmers in developing countries as well as research staff, service providers, private and public extension services, farmer organisations and rural tv stations. They enable learning from farmer to farmer to support sustainable agriculture.


Reduce vulnerability in Jordan in the context of water scarcity and increasing food/energy demand

01.12.2015 - 31.12.2019

The rationale of this project is to reduce vulnerability of rural Jordanian and other disadvantaged communities in the context of water scarcity for agriculture, increased demand for food and livelihood provision from growing populations, and rising energy demand. To this end, the project pilots a three-pronged, community­ based approach, combining water harvesting, conjunctive use of groundwater, and solar power for lifting irrigation water.


Capacity building programme in support of the Palestinian National Authority – Sanitary and Phyto-Sanitary (SPS) measures

01.12.2015 - 31.12.2019

The single phase project seeks to develop national sanitary and phyto-sanitary measures responsive to World Trade Organization (WTO) requirements, contributing to enhance domestic and international trust and demand for Palestinian agriculture and agro-industrial products. The intervention will increase potential for Palestinian agro-economic growth and ultimately contribute to increase income of farmers. Last but not least, the project will contribute to develop and create pre-conditions for the implementation of a national food safety strategy, enhancing food sovereignty in Palestine.


Afghanistan Reconstruction Trust Fund (ARTF)

01.11.2015 - 31.10.2024

Millions of Afghan women, men and children gained access to services and improved their income since the Afghanistan Reconstruction Trust Fund’s initiation (ARTF) in 2002. It also significantly contributed to the Afghan state’s capacity and legitimacy. ARTF constitutes a coordinated financing mechanism for the state's budget (Recurrent Cost Window) and for its priority national investment projects (Investment Window) in the areas of agriculture, rural development, infrastructure, education, health and governance.


Seeds and Access to Markets Project (SAMP) Phase 3

01.10.2015 - 31.12.2019

The project contributes to increased food and nutrition security of smallholder farmers by improving availability of and access to adequate quantities of quality seeds and planting material of suitable and diversified crop varieties. This enables smallholder farmers to produce enough food to sustain themselves, their communities, and earn higher incomes. The project strengthens national and local farmer-led institutions, supports community seed and commodity production and strengthens seed and commodity distribution networks.


Contribution to the Cotton Reform Multi-Donors Trust Fund of the World Bank in Uzbekistan

01.09.2015 - 30.09.2020

The World Bank led multi-donor trust fund will contribute to a sustainable cotton reform by thoroughly monitoring child and forced labour during cotton harvest, building the capacities of relevant authorities in terms of international standards and legislaion, raising awareness of the population and the stakeholders' groups involved in cotton picking. This will feed into policy dialogue with the Government and eventually eradicate this harmful practice for the rural population.


Kenya resilient arid lands partnerships for integrated development (Kenya RAPID)

01.08.2015 - 31.08.2020

Pastoralism is a millennia old livelihood strategy adapted to the marginal and harsh environments of the Arid and Semi-Arid Lands (ASAL). This programme supports the historically marginalized pastoralist communities of Northern Kenya, bordering Somalia and Ethiopia, with improved access to water (for both livestock and domestic use) and improved rangelands management through water infrastructure, strengthened public and private institutions and policy frameworks.


Programme d’Appui au Secteur du Développement Rural (Wusua Dabu) - PASDeR

01.07.2015 - 31.12.2019

Au Bénin en général, environ 11% des ménages sont en situation d’insécurité alimentaire et 38% vivent en-dessous du seuil de pauvreté. L’agriculture constitue la principale source d’emploi et de revenu. Le présent programme contribue à l’accroissement durable de la productivité des exploitations familiales paysannes agricoles et pastorales des départements du Borgou et de l’Alibori par la promotion des filières agroalimentaires (mais, riz, lait, viande).


Innovation and dissemination of technologies for adaptation of agriculture to climate change – AGRIADAPTA

01.07.2015 - 31.12.2020

10'000 families in 19 municipalities of the country improve their food security and their situation of poverty by practising sustainable and climate-smart agriculture. The Project will provide resources so that small-hold farmers in environmentally degraded dry areas affected by climate change and variability develop capacities, exchange knowledge and apply technologies for climate change adaptation.


Enhancing Nutrition of Upland Farming Families (ENUFF)

15.06.2015 - 30.06.2020

In Lao PDR, chronic malnutrition is a pressing issue affecting social and economic growth. Stunting prevalence is amongst the highest in the world, affecting an estimated 44% of children under five years of age, and exceeding 60% among children from upland ethnic communities. ENUFF project will contribute to the implementation of the national Multisectoral Food and Nutrition Security Action Plan (MSFNSAP), where various aspects like nutrition-sensitive farming, health, hygiene and care practices will be converged, leading to behaviour changes and an improved nutritional status in particular of women and children.


Support to Recovery and Reconstruction in Nepal Programme (SRRNP)

05.06.2015 - 31.12.2019

Three major earthquakes left over 8’500 people dead, 3 mio homeless and affected one third of the population in Nepal. Switzerland’s contribution to the recovery and reconstruction efforts will ensure the equitable distribution of services and provisions especially from a gender and social inclusion perspective through, the provision of direct recovery and reconstruction support to the affected people, capacity building of the local government and other service delivery agencies.


BIOCULTURA 2015 - 2019

01.06.2015 - 31.12.2019

En los últimos cinco años el programa Biocultura ha elaborado un enfoque compatible con el medio ambiente para el desarrollo con las comunidades rurales, conocido en Bolivia como el "Vivir Bien". Tambien ha contribuido a la definición de un marco legal sobre el tema del cambio climático.  En la segunda fase de su implementación 15.000 familias en 400 comunidades han recibido apoyo para asimilar el cambio climático, y además se ha realizado capacitaciones nacionales para una gestión eficiente y transparente del presupuesto climatico nacional.       

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