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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KFPE - Kommission für Forschungspartnerschaften mit Entwicklungsländern

01.01.2021 - 31.12.2024

Die Kommission für Forschungspartnerschaften mit Entwicklungsländern ist die zentrale Schweizer Informations-, Austausch- und Lernplattform für die Forschungszusammenarbeit im und mit dem globalen Süden. Seit über 25 Jahren fördert sie effiziente, wirksame und gleichberechtigte Nord-Süd Forschungspartnerschaften.  


PFNL - Programme d’appui à la valorisation des produits forestiers non ligneux au Burkina Faso

01.01.2021 - 31.12.2024

Au Burkina Faso, le fort potentiel en produits forestiers non ligneux peut être davantage exploité au profit des populations vulnérables en améliorant la sécurité alimentaire et la création de revenus. Pour une dernière phase, la Suisse, avec le cofinancement des Pays-Bas, consolide les acquis d’une manière durable tout en soutenant l’extension dans une nouvelle région pour prendre en compte, en particulier les personnes déplacées internes (PDI), les femmes et les jeunes affectés par la crise sécuritaire.  


CHAIN - Cambodian Horticulture Advancing Income and Nutrition

01.01.2021 - 31.12.2022

The last phase of the mandated Cambodian Horticulture Advancing Income and Nutrition Project will focus on sustainability and scalability of horticulture business models for farmers and businesses, supports quality extension services under the leadership of National and Provincial Agriculture Offices. Strengthened local market systems and improved water access for year-round safe vegetable production will increased income for 7,200 farmers and young migrants in four north-eastern provinces.


Covid-19 Rural Poor Stimulus Facility (single phase)

01.12.2020 - 31.12.2022

Established by The International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD), the Rural Poor Stimulus Facility (RPSF) addresses immediate impacts of the Covid 19 pandemic on rural people, prevents the erosion of results from past and ongoing operations, and puts in place building blocks to support post crisis recovery and long term resilience. As an IFAD member state, Switzerland joins international efforts with this time-bound response to prevent the health crisis from turning into a food crisis.


Woody Weeds Plus

01.12.2020 - 31.12.2023

Based on the research results of CABI Switzerland and the Centre for Development and Environment of the University of Berne, the Kenyan government implements the national Prosopis strategy aiming at sustainable management of this fast spreading invasive species. The Woody Weeds Plus project coaches this effort and implements a multi-stakeholder approach to address pastoralist livelihoods and to restore pastures and ecosystem services in arid and semi-arid lands. 


Resil - Projet de renforcement de la résilience et de la cohésion sociale au plateau dogon

01.12.2020 - 31.12.2022

Au Centre du Mali, les groupes armés exploitent la concurrence pour l’accès aux terres afin d’envenimer les relations entre communautés et de créer un climat d’extrême violence. En visant une meilleure productivité des terres et le renforcement des mécanismes de gestion des différends fonciers, le projet contribue à apaiser les relations et accroît la résilience. La Suisse contribue à la cohésion sociale, au développement rural et à la résilience des victimes du conflit. 


Aceli Africa

01.11.2020 - 31.10.2025

Aceli Africa is a market-led platform to catalyse finance for credit-constrained East African businesses along selected agricultural value chains that offer the best potential for income and job creation, food security and nutrition, gender inclusiveness, and promotion of climate-smart and agro-ecological smallholder agriculture. Key Swiss added values are the up-scaling of social impact financial instruments pioneered by SDC with partners, the involvement of the largest Swiss private impact investor, and the focus on two SDC priority countries.


Diffusion des produits de la recherche agricole en Afrique de l’Ouest

01.11.2020 - 31.10.2024

L’utilisation des innovations et technologies sont indispensables pour accroitre la résilience et la productivité des systèmes alimentaires en Afrique de l’Ouest, en vue d’y accroître leur adaptation aux changements climatiques et la sécurité alimentaire. La Suisse soutiendra le CORAF pour accroitre l’utilisation par les producteurs, transformateurs et autres acteurs des chaines de valeurs agricoles des innovations produites par la recherche en soutenant leur diffusion et mutualisation.


Urban Food Security and Resilience Building programme

15.10.2020 - 31.10.2024

Drawing on learnings by Switzerland in rural areas in Zimbabwe, this program addresses food insecurity in 3 secondary cities through a contribution to a World Food Programme initiative that combines humanitarian and resilience building solutions. Focused on the latter, this contribution provides food insecure urban people a comprehensive support including skills, finance and market linkages aimed at more gainful agriculture. It also supports the coordination and strengthening of related stakeholders, including policy makers.  


Upgrading Karm Abu Salem Crossing - Gaza

01.10.2020 - 31.12.2022

Switzerland will support improving the export/import conditions of goods to and from the Gaza Strip.

The project, implemented by UNOPS, will upgrade the poor infrastructure at the Palestinian side of

the only functioning commercial crossing between Gaza and Israel. The existing infrastructure con-

ditions are causing around 10% of damages to the transiting commodities thus incurring substantial

economic losses that are affecting the living conditions of two million people in the Gaza Strip


The Swiss Capacity Building Facility

01.10.2020 - 31.12.2026

The Swiss Capacity Building Facility (SCBF) is a Swiss technical assistance financing facility, uniting the expertise of key actors of the Swiss financial sector and of partners engaged in financial inclusion. The SCBF fosters the innovation and massive scaling-up of financial services and products centred on the financial inclusion of low-income women, vulnerable households, smallholder farmers and MSMEs in the Global South. Financial inclusion enables reaching the SDGs. 


Prabriddhi: Local Economic Development at District Level in Bangladesh

01.09.2020 - 31.08.2025

In six urban municipalities and their surrounding territories, the public and private sector and civil society will engage in participatory local economic development planning and implementation, generating income opportunities for poor and disadvantaged women and men. The project combines Switzerland’s expertise in market development and local governance to develop and refine a model of local economic planning and creates the right conditions for its wider replications by the Government of Bangladesh.

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