Project completed

This project aims at establishing ABS (Access and Benefit Sharing) compliant value chains for biotrade products from South Africa through technical and financial assistance to SMEs and business support organizations as well as through a policy dialogue, in order to promote a sustainable use of natural resources and a valorisation of biodiversity.

Country/region Topic Period Budget
South Africa
Sustainable trade
01.02.2018 - 31.07.2021
CHF  3’000’000

South Africa is the 3rd most biologically diverse country in the world, with over 21,000 plants species. World demand for healthy, natural and organic products is growing rapidly in many developed consumer markets. The South African authorities have identified the biotrade sector as a priority area for the promotion of an inclusive and sustainable growth. However, the export of biotrade products is still hindered by factors such as the regulatory environment, non-tariff measures in export markets and other sector constraints.


A high-growth, jobs-rich, innovative biotrade sector compliant with national ABS regulations supports sustainable development goals and contributes to livelihoods of rural people and the sustainable use of South and southern Africa's plant biodiversity.

Medium-term outcomes

Outcome 1: SMEs access new global markets for biotrade products based on national and transboundary value chains with strong participation of Indigenous Peoples and Local Communities (IPLCs).

Outcome 2: SMEs use financial assistance designed specifically for biotrade innovation and growth whilst leveraging own resources and/or government incentive schemes.

Outcome 3: Improved ABS implementation framework supports the biotrade sector development in South Africa and the (sub-) region.


Expected results:  

Output 1.1: Targeted non-tariff barriers are addressed in a way that enables multiple SMEs to access new global markets for key biotrade products.

Output 1.2: Selected IPLCs are supported with technical assistance for effective participation in agreed biotrade value chains.

Output 1.3: Investment readiness of selected SMEs in the biotrade achieved by technical assistance.

Output 2.1: Biotrade innovation facility is designed and established.

Output 2.2: Biotrade innovation facility operated to support ABS compliant SMEs to innovate and grow.

Output 3.1: Drafts amendments for NEMBA and BABS are finalised.

Output 3.2: Industry best practices complementing NEMBA, BABS and other relevant policies / regulatory frameworks are endorsed by sector organisations.

Output 3.3: Lessons learned and best practices are documented and shared with relevant stakeholders in southern Africa, Africa and at global scale.

Directorate/federal office responsible SECO
Credit area Development cooperation
Project partners Contract partner
  • Deutsche Gesellschaft für internationale technische Zusammenarbeit

Budget Current phase Swiss budget CHF    3’000’000 Swiss disbursement to date CHF    0 Budget inclusive project partner CHF    14’835’000
Project phases

Phase 2 01.02.2018 - 31.07.2021   (Completed)

Phase 1 28.05.2012 - 31.12.2015   (Completed)