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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Programme d’Appui au Plaidoyer des Faîtières des Organisations Socio-professionnelles Agricoles (AP/OSP)

01.05.2020 - 30.04.2024

L’agriculture constitue la principale source d’emploi et de revenu au Bénin. Or, les réformes dans le secteur de l’agriculture ne sont pas encore toutes définies de commun accord avec tous les acteurs. La Suisse contribue au renforcement institutionnel et à la gouvernance des faîtières des producteurs et éleveurs afin que ces derniers puissent mieux jouer leurs rôles d’interpellation, de proposition, de participation et de suivi de la mise en œuvre des politiques agricoles.


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

01.05.2020 - 30.04.2024

Au Bénin, l’agriculture constitue la principale source d’emploi et de revenu. Des reformes ont été initiées par le gouvernement pour promouvoir les filières agricole et animale. Se basant sur les acquis des phases précédentes, la DDC vise à mettre à l’échelle le programme en élargissant la zone géographique d’intervention sur tout le Nord et d’augmenter le nombre de filières cibles, tout en s’inscrivant dans une approche plus économique et créatrice d’emplois pour les jeunes et les femmes.


Opportunities for Youth Employment (OYE)

01.03.2020 - 31.05.2024

Inspired by aspects of the Swiss Vocational Skills Development model, the Opportunities for Youth Employment project aims to improve the livelihoods of young rural and peri-urban out-of-school women and men. In addition to building youths' skills-set and connecting them with existing markets for gainful selfemployment in agriculture and renewable energy, this project will also contribute to a more youth friendly and effective market system and policy environment Co-funding is provided by the private sector.


FAO Desert Locust Emergency Response in the Horn of Africa Region

20.02.2020 - 19.06.2021

To control the spread of the worst outbreak of desert locusts in decades in the Horn of Africa (Somalia, Ethiopia, Kenya) and safeguard livelihoods of thousands of affected vulnerable households, Switzerland intends to contribute to the regional desert locust crisis appeal by the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) of the United Nations. 


WFP Haiti Supply Chain Response

06.01.2020 - 30.04.2021

Face à la hausse de l'insécurité en Haiti depuis 2018 avec un pic ces 3 derniers mois, l'accès des acteurs humanitaires et de développement à leurs zones d'intervention est devenu difficile. Les populations en besoin d'assistance sont à la hausse sans pouvoir être assistées à cause des lacunes des capacités logistiques. La DDC supporte cette intervention en vue de faciliter la reprise/continuité des activités, renforcer les capacités logistiques (aérienne, maritime, terrestre ..) en vue d'atteindre les populations en besoin d'assistance.


CGIAR Contribution 2020 - 2021

01.01.2020 - 31.12.2021

The Consultative Group for International Agricultural Research (CGIAR) is a global research for development partnership in the fields of agriculture (crops, livestock, aquaculture and forestry). CGIAR holds in trust unique genetic resources for agriculturally significant species of central importance to advancing and sustaining productivity for the world’s smallholder farmers in the 21st century. CGIAR has a singular role in providing international and global public goods through high-quality agricultural research, partnership, and leadership in the areas of poverty and hunger reduction, improvement of human nutrition, enhancement of ecosystem resilience. 


Strengthening Drought Resilience in Pastoral and Agro-pastoral Areas of Somali National Regional State, Ethiopia (SDR - SNRS)

01.01.2020 - 30.04.2022

Pastoral and agro-pastoral livelihoods in Ethiopia's Somali National Regional State (SNRS) are increasingly threatened by environmental (climatic) changes and land degradation. GIZ along with Local Government partners aims at building the resilience of vulnerable pastoralist communities through proven land rehabilitation measures, the promotion of livelihood activities and capacity development of government and private sector institutions.


Small Irrigation Programme (SIP)

01.01.2020 - 31.12.2024

Swiss engagement through this project assists farmers in doubling their agricultural income through year-round irrigation and better access to markets. Doubling of agriculture income will contribute to poverty reduction and reduce poor farmer’s need to migrate. In addition, Swiss pioneering work in operationalizing federalism, through this project at local level will address issues related to historic over-centralization and social exclusion and will contribute to peace and stability in the country.


Solar Irrigation for Agriculture Resilience (SoLAR)

01.01.2020 - 31.07.2027

To adapt to climate change farmers rely increasingly on irrigation, ultimately depleting groundwater resources and raising energy demand. The project aims to address these challenges by promoting solar irrigation, water efficient agriculture and groundwater governance. The project will harness Swiss expertise on hydrogeology and technical innovations to contribute to climate resilient agriculture and facilitate knowledge sharing in South Asia and at the global level.


Responsible Agricultural Investments Leveraging (RAIL) by IFAD

15.12.2019 - 31.12.2023

The International Fund for Agricultural Development IFAD is a key partner for Switzerland in the efforts to lift smallholder farmers out of poverty. SDC supports the IFAD-led Agricultural Business Capital Fund to finance responsibly African farmer organisations, small and medium agribusiness enterprises, and rural financial intermediaries. The Fund will lead to higher incomes and more jobs notably for youth and women as well as increased food security, contributing to improved livelihoods of an estimated 430’000 smallholder households applying more sustainable farm practices.


African Risk Capacity (ARC)

10.12.2019 - 31.12.2022

The African Risk Capacity is a disaster risk management pool and early response mechanism established by the African Union member states against natural disasters like drought, flood, and tropical cyclones, and the outbreak of highly contagious diseases. Its drought insurance and the new insurance products for flood and tropical cyclones enhance the safety nets of smallholder households and thus contributes to food security in Africa.


South Sudan, Caritas Switzerland: Restoration of resilience in livelihoods for rural and semi-urban communities in Torit State

01.10.2019 - 30.09.2022

This project is designed to increase the resilience of women, men and children in Torit State in South Sudan. This will be achieved through improving agricultural production and access to value chains for farmers and small scale businesses. In order to improve productivity and reduce water-related diseases, the project will improve access to water. This will ultimately reduce vulnerability to the threat of food & nutrition insecurity, and bring the target population to engage in increased productivity with financial benefit.

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