Smallholder and family farming

Smallholder farming family in a cabbage field in Honduras
Small farms produce almost half of the world’s food needs. © SDC/Fritz R. Staehelin

Smallholders and family farms play a key role in feeding the world's growing population and creating and preserving jobs in rural areas. They can also help to stem migration. In order to stay in business, smallholders need access to stable markets, infrastructure adapted to their needs, and access to education, training and financial and information services. The SDC helps them to adapt to change and to boost production in a sustainable way.

The Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) of the United Nations  defines smallholders as small-scale farmers, pastoralists, forest keepers and fishers who manage areas of less than 10 hectares. Smallholder farms are characterised by family-focused motives and it is the families who are responsible for everything from production to farm maintenance. Part of what is produced is consumed by the family itself. Smallholder farming is about a third less productive than large-scale farming. Despite this fact – or indeed because of it – Switzerland is convinced that supporting smallholder and family farming contributes to alleviating world hunger and poverty.

The SDC's support for smallholders and family farms in developing countries mainly consists of assisting them to adapt to climate change, to changing available means and methods of production, as well as to new market demands in order to boost and improve their production.

Links

Documents

Global Programme Food Security (GPFS) at work no. 4: Smallholder/Family Farming
[en] (PDF, Page 1, 49.1 kB, English)

Investing in Smallholder Agriculture for Food Security – A Report by the High Level Panel of Experts
[en] (PDF, 2.6 MB, English)

Factsheet: Les exploitations agricoles familiales et la sécurité alimentaire
[fr] (PDF, Number of pages 2, 321.1 kB)

Better income for Georgian farmers
[en] (PDF, Number of pages 4, 821.9 kB, English)

Current projects

Object 61 – 72 of 2988

Disaster risk reduction and integrated watershed management in Muminabad, Tajikistan

A group of men standing next to the recently built outlet of a drainage canal.

01.07.2014 - 08.12.2016

In Muminabad District in Tajikistan, Switzerland is reducing the risk of natural disasters and promoting the integrated management of the Obishur and Chukurak watersheds. Sustainable agriculture and livestock production carried out by local people with the support of the local authorities creates the necessary conditions for integrated watershed management.

Country/region Topic Period Budget
Tajikistan
Climate change and environment
Disaster risk reduction DRR
Environmental policy

01.07.2014 - 08.12.2016


CHF 1'199'525



The members of municipal councils working for democracy

Women and men assembled in a community hall.

01.07.2014 - 30.06.2020

With the ‘Empowering Municipal Councils’ project, Switzerland’s international cooperation is helping municipal councils in North Macedonia to become effective local authorities whose community policies take into account the interests of ordinary citizens.

Country/region Topic Period Budget
Macedonia
Governance
Decentralisation

01.07.2014 - 30.06.2020


CHF 4'000'000



New approach in Bosnia and Herzegovina for democratisation

A man standing in front of a blue gate valve connected to a large blue pipe.

01.07.2014 - 30.06.2020

Bosnia and Herzegovina’s water and sanitation infrastructure is outdated and a large segment of the population has no access to a water supply. The starting point for the SDC’s project is good governance – the authorities must be transparent about building and renovation decisions, and ensure an inclusive political process for the citizens their decisions affect.

Country/region Topic Period Budget
Bosnia and Herzegovina
Governance
Public sector policy
Decentralisation
Democratic participation and civil society

01.07.2014 - 30.06.2020


CHF 12'000'000



AfDB/AfDF: African Development Bank / African Development Fund – Core Contribution

01.05.2014 - 31.12.2023

The mandate of the African Development Bank (AfDB) and the African Development Fund (AfDF) is to promote sustainable economic and social development in Africa by providing support for good governance and private sector development, infrastructure, higher education and vocational training. Switzerland has been supporting the AfDF since its foundation in 1972 and has been a member since 1982.

Country/region Topic Period Budget
Africa
Other
Sector not specified

01.05.2014 - 31.12.2023


CHF 207'759'519



Improved climate data

Satellite image showing plumes of smoke rising from forest fires over Sumatra.

01.04.2014 - 31.03.2018

Together with the SDC, MeteoSwiss has committed itself to improving the climate information base worldwide. High-quality, long-term climate measurement series can be used to estimate the consequences of climate change and to provide a greater understanding of the related opportunities and risks. The project has now come to an end after five years.

Country/region Topic Period Budget
Global
Climate change and environment
Biosphere protection
Environmental policy

01.04.2014 - 31.03.2018


CHF 3'090'000



Health Care Waste Management in Kyrgyz Hospitals

Zulfia Djumaeva is using a needle cutter to destroy a used syringe. © SDC

01.04.2014 - 31.03.2017

Infectious hospital waste can be a serious threat for patients as well as for medical staff. Therefore, well-organised and safe management of all types of waste are indispensable for a safe environment in health institutions. With an innovative low-cost and thus sustainable approach, the Health Care Waste Management programme in Kyrgyz hospitals is a great success.

Country/region Topic Period Budget
Kyrgyzstan
Health
Primary health care
Health systems strengthening
Infectious desease

01.04.2014 - 31.03.2017


CHF 3'060'000



UN CC:Learn – Integrating climate change in school curricula

Three girls and a boy sitting in a classroom.

01.03.2014 - 31.08.2017

UN CC:Learn is a partnership of 33 multilateral organisations which supports member states in designing and implementing results-oriented and sustainable learning to address climate change. The Secretariat for UN CC:Learn is provided by the UN Institute for Training and Research (UNITAR). UN CC:Learn supports countries in developing national strategies to strengthen human resources and skills to advance green, low emission and climate resilient development (also referred to as climate change learning strategies).

Country/region Topic Period Budget
Global
Climate change and environment
Environmental policy
Biosphere protection
Disaster risk reduction DRR

01.03.2014 - 31.08.2017


CHF 3'000'000



Morocco gets accredited rescue team

Two rescue workers training inside a destroyed building with a search device.

01.03.2014 - 31.12.2016

Morocco has become the first country on the African continent to have a search and rescue team that meets international standards. Switzerland has been training specialists from the Moroccan civil protection services for several years. Morocco now has a rapid and effective disaster response system in place and will be able to reduce losses and limit the number of disaster victims resulting primarily from earthquakes.

Country/region Topic Period Budget
Morocco
Climate change and environment
Humanitarian Assistance & DRR
Disaster risk reduction DRR
Material relief assistance

01.03.2014 - 31.12.2016


CHF 890'000



A community-based mental healthcare system

01.03.2014 - 28.02.2018

In Bosnia and Herzegovina, much of the population is still suffering the consequences of the war which ravaged the Balkans in the 1990s. Since 2010, Switzerland has been helping the country to modernise its mental healthcare system to give patients access to high quality services in their communities.

Country/region Topic Period Budget
Bosnia and Herzegovina
Health
Mental health & well-being
Primary health care
Health systems strengthening

01.03.2014 - 28.02.2018


CHF 5'665'000



UNFPA: United Nations Population Fund – Core Contribution

01.01.2014 - 31.12.2016

The United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) is the UN development agency that promotes the right of every woman, man and child to enjoy a life of health and equal opportunity. It works to enhance the right to sexual and reproductive health and supports countries to enable them to utilise demographic data in the formulation of policies and programmes to combat poverty.

Topic Period Budget
Health
Health systems strengthening

01.01.2014 - 31.12.2016


CHF 48'000'000



Good schools for all Malian children

Children sitting at school desks inside a large tent.

01.01.2014 - 31.03.2018

The Government of Mali has reaffirmed its commitment to improving the quality of education as a priority. The SDC is providing support in this area in two respects: improving the quality of primary school education and decentralising education in general. This concerns three peripheral regions of the country. The SDC is also encouraging the creation of programmes adapted to children who have interrupted their schooling and to nomadic populations.

Country/region Topic Period Budget
Mali
Education
Primary education
Education facilities and training
Education policy

01.01.2014 - 31.03.2018


CHF 9'900'000



Supporting Decentralisation and Local Government

Albanian women visiting the Bushat municipal office.

01.01.2014 - 31.12.2018


Switzerland supports Albania's transition to a democratic society. The decentralisation and local development programme (dldp) strengthens local government in North Albania and disseminates best practices at national level. It has introduced new models for local government functioning in areas such as waste management, public finance management, and e-governance.

Country/region Topic Period Budget
Albania
Governance
Decentralisation

01.01.2014 - 31.12.2018


CHF 9'620'000


Object 61 – 72 of 2988