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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Rural Markets

01.01.2022 - 30.09.2023

The political and health crisis in recent years has affected the economic activity of the Family Production Units (UPFs, in Spanish), which is why their resilience needs to be strengthened. The market development approach, applied in phases I and II of the project, has proven its potential to solve major bottlenecks.  In the last phase, the proposal is to consolidate and scale up the achievements in the market systems, as well as of the public and private services supporting them, focusing on knowledge management and sustainability mechanisms.


FASL - Food-security and Agricultural Sustainability for Livelihood improvement

01.01.2022 - 31.12.2025

Poverty and food insecurity are widespread all over Afghanistan and even more accentuated after the political change after the takeover of the Taliban in August 2021. Therefore the support of the poorest farmers in the most remote areas by improving and securing their livelihoods is crucial in order to strenghten sustainable natural resources management and the communities’ resilience. It is interwoven with the humanitarian appeal of Aga Khan Foundation supported by Switzerland. 


Improving National Animal Identificationand Traceability Systems (NAITS)

01.01.2022 - 31.12.2025

In Georgia, the livestock sector is dominated by small-scale subsistence farms, using common grazing and increasing the spread of diseases, which reduce productivity and farmers’ incomes. Switzerland has been supporting the authorities to introduce a digital system of animal identification and registration to improve health control since 2016. The system is operational, but further support is needed to ensure that it is effectively used and contributes to increasing competitiveness and farmers’ incomes.


LURAS - Lao Upland Rural Advisory Services

01.12.2021 - 30.11.2025

Laos is an agriculture-based country in transition. Farmers in the Northern region require additional knowledge, skills and access to resources to organize themselves within the ongoing agricultural socio-economic changes. Switzerland’s expertise in inclusive economic development, climate change and environment will support rural advisory services during this final phase to sustainably stimulate climate resilient and lasting improvements in agricultural production and income generation for these farmers.


Enhanced resilience of viticulture in Abkhazia

01.12.2021 - 30.11.2026

A vast area in Abkhazia was contaminated by the explosion of an ammunition warehouse in 2017. Clearance efforts supported by international experts are about to be completed, enabling the restoration of the land for agricultural purposes. Endemic grape varieties will be reintroduced fostering biodiversity and resistance to disease. Growers’ resilience to climatic and economic shocks will be enhanced by setting a sector association and training in advanced agricultural practices.


Enabling development through landmine clearance in the Sengwe Wildlife Corridor

01.11.2021 - 31.10.2023

Switzerland will contribute to achieve Zimbabwe’s 2025 landmine-free deadline by supporting a demining operation in the Sengwe Wildlife Corridor. The project implemented by APOPO seeks to return 84% of the remaining suspected contaminated area to local communities which will be used for agricultural development, ecotourism, and conservation, as well as to provide mine risk education so that food security is enhanced, general wellbeing is improved, and accidents are avoided.


BIOREST - Appui au développement d’une agriculture biologique durable et résiliente dans un contexte de changement climatique en Tunisie

01.11.2021 - 31.10.2025

A travers cette l’intervention, la Suisse consolide les efforts du gouvernement tunisien pour la résilience au changement climatique en accompagnant le développement des systèmes d’agriculture biologiques appliquant les principes de l’agriculture intelligente face au climat. L’appui portera sur les axes de la production végétale et animale, l’encadrement des acteurs et le système de contrôle de l’agriculture biologique. L’approche territoriale adoptée consolide la résilience alimentaire et environnementale des régions ciblées et de la Tunisie.


RAPID+ The Kenya Arid Lands Partnership for Integrated Development Plus

01.11.2021 - 31.10.2026

Pastoralist communities in the Arid and Semi-Arid Lands (ASAL) have for a very long time adapted to the harsh environments to derive livelihoods (mainly livestock). Communities in the ASALs are facing multiple pressures of climate change, degraded natural resources and conflicts. This program supports the historically marginalised and under-developed pastoralist communities in Northern Kenya to access safe, reliable and affordable Water and manage their rangeland ecosystem sustainably.  


Strengthening livestock sector in Arid and Semi-Arid Lands (ASAL) Counties of Kenya

01.10.2021 - 30.04.2024

Around 60% of the population in the arid and semi-arid lands of Northern Eastern Kenya Counties live in abject poverty and are almost entirely dependent on livestock production for their livelihoods in an environment that is characterized by droughts and resource based conflicts. This programme will support these Counties to enhance livestock production by strengthening key factors such as fodder production, animal health, etc. and by strengthening the institutions to more effectively deliver relevant services and reduce conflicts. 


PREPAS - Programme de Renforcement de l’élevage pastoral au Tchad

01.10.2021 - 31.12.2026

Le Batha, le Wadi Fira et l’Ennedi sont des provinces sahéliennes soumises à l’avancée du désert et à l’irrégularité pluviométrique. L’élevage pastoral y est la principale activité économique. La Suisse appuie un programme de renforcement de l’élevage pastoral qui contribue à une gestion durable des ressources, à la prévention des conflits, et à l’amélioration de l’offre de services aux éleveurs. Ce programme impulse des opportunités économiques aux jeunes limitant la migration vers la Libye ou les zones aurifères marquées par l’insécurité et le banditisme.


PAAS - Project to Support Sustainable Agriculture in Cuba

15.07.2021 - 15.07.2023

The phase 3 of PAAS proposes the consolidation of a methodology for the application and scaling up of the value chain management model. It includes elements of circular economy, climate-smart agriculture and agro-ecological certification in 11 municipalities and 5 chains (cassava, broiler chicken meat, small livestock, fruit trees and vegetables). The project expects to have an impact on agricultural public policies by incorporating the model into the guidelines of the prioritized national agricultural programs.


Partnership for Forestry and Fisheries (PaFF): Support to Forestry and Fisheries Communities in Cambodia

01.07.2021 - 30.06.2023

The final phase of the Partnership for Forestry and Fisheries is implemented by four NonGovernmental Organisations led by the Center for Forests and People - RECOFTC. It will support rural communities in managing their natural resources in four provinces. With SDC`s contribution and inclusive development, the communities’ economic, social and cultural rights will be enhanced through funding opportunities that improve their livelihoods and increase resilience to natural shocks.  

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