As our Swiss ancestors knew all too well, life in mountain regions is challenging. Without infrastructure, people had to fend for themselves to find food and feed their families, leaving them susceptible to famine.
This situation is still a reality in many parts of the world. Almost half of people living in rural mountain communities in low-income countries are exposed to hunger, poverty and malnutrition. In the mountains in particular, cultivation periods for farmers are short, while the distances to market are long. This makes it difficult to produce enough food for subsistence on the one hand, and to generate income from selling the products on the other.
To counter this situation, the SDC and its partners developed the Nutrition in Mountain Agro-Ecosystems (NMA) project, which operates in eight countries (Ecuador, Ethiopia, India, Kyrgyzstan, Nepal, Pakistan, Peru and Tajikistan). The project aims to promote sustainable cultivation and production of diverse foodstuffs, such as fruit, vegetables, beans, milk and eggs, to enable healthy diets.