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

Object 61 – 72 of 157

Agriculture Census 2020

01.12.2018 - 31.12.2022

Switzerland will support the realization of the Agriculture Census in 2020 through contributing to the Palestinian Central Bureau of Statistics (PCBS). Updated and accurate data on agriculture holdings is an enabling tool for public and private investment as well as to plan and monitor relevant developments in the agriculture sector, in accordance with the National Policy Agenda (2017-2022). This project will offer opportunities to engage Swiss expertise in the domain of statistics and agriculture.


Cosecha de Agua (Water Harvesting)

01.11.2018 - 31.12.2022

This project strengthens the food security of 2,500 families and responds to the challenges of climate change and the economic crisis in Nicaragua’s dry corridor. The second phase of the project is intended to systematize and replicate on a larger scale water harvesting and other practices for more efficient use of water resources. In the interest of enhanced implementation efficiency and effectiveness, the participation of the government is reduced and a contribution to a specialized international organization is proposed.


Water Efficiency in Rice and Cotton

01.11.2018 - 31.12.2022

The public-private-partnership project aims at enhancing smallholder farmers’ income and water productivity in cotton and rice production through improved technologies (PUSH), increased demand of sustainable products by the private sector (PULL) and water stewardship plans (POLICY).
SDC supports a consortium with 20 partners coordinated by HELVETAS in the implementation of the PUSH-PULL-POLICY approach in India, Pakistan, Tajikistan, Kyrgyzstan, Myanmar and Madagascar.


Amélioration de la sécurité alimentaire et nutritionnelle dans la région Boucle du Mouhoun

01.10.2018 - 30.09.2021

Le Burkina Faso fait face à des crises de sécurité alimentaire et de malnutrition récurrentes pour des raisons structurelles et conjoncturelles. Ce projet vise à renforcer la sécurité alimentaire et nutritionnelle (SAN) des personnes vulnérables dans la région Boucle du Mouhoun à travers une approche intégrée et innovatrice. Cet approche combine des interventions en sécurité alimentaire et moyens d’existence, en santé primaire et nutrition communautaire. Le projet s’inscrit dans la nouvelle vision du « programme lait » de la Confédération.


Blue Peace Financing: transboundary, multisectoral and transgenerational investments

01.10.2018 - 30.06.2023

To achieve the Sustainable Development Goals government efforts do not suffice, additional private capital deployed towards sustainable development are needed. Blue Peace advocates for investments to be re-directed to two levels: transboundary entities and to municipalities. This will have a transformative impact. As a door opener, Switzerland through its partnership with UNCDF contributes to the development of innovative financial products that enable transboundary, multisectoral and transgenerational investments leading to sustainable development and peace.


Plant Variety Protection Legislation and Farmers’ Rights in Developing Countries

01.10.2018 - 31.10.2023

Plant variety protection legislation in accordance with the International Union for the Protection of New Varieties of Plants (UPOV) is gaining importance in developing countries. This kind of legislation often neglects the existing informal seed systems and Farmers’ Rights. SDC supports APBREBES, a network of civil society organizations, to raise awareness and contribute to capacity building on alternative legislation that better reflect smallholders’ needs and practices.


Improving farm productivity in Georgia through dual vocational education and training

Three people in a greenhouse.

01.09.2018 - 31.08.2022

Agriculture is Georgia's most important sector. However, farming remains uncompetitive as farmers' skills are out of step with the job market and technological developments. Switzerland is continuing to support vocational education and training to improve productivity, farm income and the employment situation for students of agriculture.

Country/region Topic Period Budget
Georgia
Vocational training
Agriculture & food security
Employment & economic development
Vocational training
Agricultural services & market
Rural development

01.09.2018 - 31.08.2022


CHF  7’303’140



China: Rehabilitation and management strategy for over-pumped aquifers under a changing climate

01.09.2018 - 31.12.2022

In the past 30 years the aquifers in the North China plain have been over-exploited. Based on cutting-edge Sino-Swiss expertise in real-time groundwater monitoring and modelling, the project will implement groundwater and agricultural management policies to stabilize groundwater levels as a buffer to climate change induced droughts. The project will work with farmers and local authorities to facilitate policy uptake. Findings are relevant for many water-stressed countries and will be shared globally.


Remote sensing-based Information and Insurance for Crops in Emerging economies (RIICE) - Phase 3

01.08.2018 - 31.12.2021

Extreme weather events increasingly affect small-scale producers in Asia. Satellites and other information technologies present tremendous potential for improved country-wide monitoring of crop growth and insurance solutions for extreme weather events. With RIICE, SDC supports the integration of expertise from Swiss private actors and international public research centres toward modernizing public agricultural services and crop insurance programmes, offering performant solutions to Governments and producers to cope with production shortfalls.


Scaling Up Youth Employment in Agriculture Initiative

01.08.2018 - 31.10.2023

Education systems in Southern Africa do not prepare youth for work; they cannot access or create economic opportunities and ignore the available options. The project will scale up in Southern Africa a model already tested by Switzerland in Tanzania. It will improve (self)-employment of 20’000 young women and men in Zimbabwe and Zambia by strengthening their skills and matching them with existing job opportunities, thereby contributing to the implementation of youth policies in-country and regionally.


Solar irrigation for Agriculture Resilience (SoLAR)

01.08.2018 - 31.12.2023

Farmers increasingly rely on irrigation to counter rising temperature and rainfall variability, leading to growth in energy demand and depletion of groundwater resources. The project aims to promote solar irrigation as a water-energy solution for climate-resilient and socially inclusive agrarian livelihoods in South Asia. Swiss innovation in groundwater monitoring through electricity use, efficient solar pumps and smart micro grids will be applied in the partner countries.


Integrated Seed Sector Development (ISSD) Africa

01.08.2018 - 31.07.2026

Today, only 12 plant species and five animal species provide more than 75 percent of all human food. Quality seed and maintaining the agrobiodiversity are key concerns for food security and nutrition. Aiming at enhancing access of smallholders to quality seed of their choice, the Integrated Seed Sector Development in Africa programme combines public and private efforts. With its contribution and policy work, SDC supports healthy food systems, as well in fragile contexts.

Object 61 – 72 of 157