Agriculture and food security

Farmer working in a maize field in Nicaragua
In rural areas, agriculture is still the only possible economic activity in many countries. © SDC

Food security and supporting sustainable agricultural systems that help make it possible are global challenges. The SDC provides support to small farmers of both genders for the efficient use of natural resources conserving them for future generations, this all in the context of social and economic changes and the impact of climate change.

The SDC is committed to adequate food as a human right and provides support to smallholder farmers for the sustainable production, storage and marketing of their products, as well as continuous adaptation to changing conditions. The SDC also promotes needs-oriented research and innovation and advisory services.

The SDC supports women in particular to ensure that they gain equal access to education, productive resources and markets.

According to the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) some 70% of the world’s poor live in rural areas, are often involved in small-scale enterprises and have farming as their main source of income.

Access to food

Ensuring the right to adequate food by means of food systems that do not exclude the poor or weaker sections of the population

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 governance

Regulating access to land and natural resources on an equitable basis; developing policies that promote the autonomy of rural communities

Biodiversity

Preserving crop diversity and improving seed systems, for which the know-how of the local population is all-important

Preventing desertification

Focus on sustainable agriculture and forest management to preserve soil fertility and water resources.

Food aid

Ensuring that people in conflicts, crises and disasters are provided with basic food supplies and other items and services.

Documents

Current projects

Object 1 – 12 of 137

Supporting livestock traceability in the South Caucasus

The image shows a close-up of a calf with an identification tag in its right ear.

15.06.2016 - 30.11.2020

Identifying where animals have come from and recording information about their health is essential in modern agriculture to prevent the spread of diseases and stop products from diseased animals reaching the market. A system to ensure traceability will help to improve the incomes of farmers in the South Caucasus by increasing both herd productivity and the producers’ access to markets.

Country/region Topic Period Budget
South Caucasus
Agriculture and Food Security
Agriculture value-chain development

15.06.2016 - 30.11.2020


CHF 3'985'000



Farmers displaced by the conflict acquire a business perspective

Market scene in Darfur in Sudan.

01.04.2016 - 31.12.2017

For over 13 years, devastating conflict has dominated Sudan, forcing the population to flee the fighting and destroying their livelihoods in the process. The SDC supports a UN reconstruction programme in Sudan, which among other things aims to improve the economic situation of smallholder farmers.

Country/region Topic Period Budget
Sudan
Humanitarian Assistance
Agriculture and Food Security
Reconstruction and Rehabilitation
Agriculture value-chain development

01.04.2016 - 31.12.2017


CHF 1'000'000



Appui aux économies locales des collectivités de Youwarou et de Niafunké (PACY) Programme de Soutien aux Economies Locales du Delta intérieur du Niger (PSEL-DELTA)

01.07.2015 - 30.06.2019

Dans les régions du delta intérieur du Niger, au centre et au Nord du Mali, les populations rurales sont confrontées à des crises structurelles multiformes dont l’insécurité alimentaire. La DDC appuie les autorités locales avec des projets économiques dans les filières agricoles porteuses pour assurer la sécurité alimentaire et réduire la pauvreté d’au moins 150'000 personnes. En plus, elle accompagne les municipalités de cette zone dans la maitrise d’ouvrage du développement territorial et la gestion pacifique des ressources naturelles.

Country/region Topic Period Budget
Mali
Rule of Law - Democracy - Human rights
Agriculture and Food Security
Agriculture value-chain development
Decentralisation - local governance - democratization (incl. accountability)
Adaptation to the effects of climate change

01.07.2015 - 30.06.2019


CHF 9'445'000



Micro-insurances for smallholder rice farmers in Asia

Work in the rice fields in India

01.05.2015 - 30.04.2018

RIICE is the name given to a public-private development partnership project that combines technological innovation and crop insurance. Its purpose: to improve food security by providing micro-insurance against crop losses and to enhance forecasting capacities thanks to vanguard satellite technology. Millions of smallholder rice farmers in Asia should benefit from this innovative project.

Country/region Topic Period Budget
Asia
Agriculture and Food Security
Economy and Employment
Agricultural production (incl. management of natural resources)
Small and medium-sized enterprises (SME) development

01.05.2015 - 30.04.2018


CHF 3'787'500



Feeding people – caring for the planet

Two women and a man on a podium, taking part in a panel discussion in Senegal to develop policy measures to promote sustainability in the agriculture sector.

01.12.2014 - 31.12.2017

The SDC and the Swiss NGO Biovision are running a joint project for more sustainable agricultural policies at the national and international levels. The project includes the development of policies in Senegal, Kenya and Ethiopia aimed at achieving sustainable agriculture and food security for all.

Country/region Topic Period Budget
Global
Agriculture and Food Security
Agricultural policy and regulatory frameworks (incl. trade)
Agricultural production (incl. management of natural resources)

01.12.2014 - 31.12.2017


CHF 1'550'000



Thin lines that change lives

Women carrying baskets walk on a trail bridge.

01.08.2014 - 31.07.2019

In Nepal, trail bridges are vital for rural mobility. Almost 80 of them were severely damaged or destroyed during the earthquakes of 2015, jeopardizing access to education, health services and local markets for thousands of inhabitants in the mountainous regions. The SDC joined the reconstruction efforts, basing its intervention on the long-standing expertise it has in the country. 

Country/region Topic Period Budget
Nepal
Agriculture and Food Security
Rural infrastructure
Agriculture value-chain development

01.08.2014 - 31.07.2019


CHF 10'998'000



Alliances Lesser Caucasus Programme in Georgia

01.03.2014 - 30.06.2017

In the regions of Samtskhe-Javakheti, Kvemo Kartli and Adjara in southern Georgia, many family farms have only small numbers of livestock and operate at a subsistence level that merely enables them to get by. This project aims to help these farmers increase their income, not only by improving their productivity but also by providing them with better access to the meat and milk markets. This involves integrating the different elements of the production chain from farmers to processing companies, wholesalers and service providers such as veterinary surgeons, through to the consumers.

Country/region Topic Period Budget
Georgia
Agriculture and Food Security
Economy and Employment
Agriculture value-chain development
Agricultural production (incl. management of natural resources)
Financial inclusion (global & policy level)
Insurance (micro and meso level)

01.03.2014 - 30.06.2017


CHF 9'181'000



Plant clinics and plant doctors to reduce crop losses

Farmer at plant clinic in Peru

01.01.2014 - 31.12.2017

The Plantwise programme aims to reduce crop losses to improve the food security of poor rural population groups. Decentralised, community-based plant clinics help farmers identify and combat plant pests and diseases in a timely manner. This SDC-supported programme is currently operating in benefiting two million farmers worldwide.

Country/region Topic Period Budget
Global
Agriculture and Food Security
Agricultural production (incl. management of natural resources)
Agricultural research and innovation systems

01.01.2014 - 31.12.2017


CHF 8'750'000



Programme d’Appui à la Formation Professionnelle

01.01.2014 - 31.12.2017

Le marché du travail au Mali est caractérisé par une main d’œuvre peu qualifiée. Dans ce contexte, 300'000 jeunes arrivent chaque année sur ce marché sans compétences. L’offre de formation par domaine et/ou filière est en deçà des attentes du secteur productif. La formation professionnelle e 40'000 personnes dont 50% de femmes à l’horizon 2017, améliore la qualité des ouvrages et augmente la compétitivité des entreprises en contribuant à l’augmentation des revenus dans les régions prioritaires de la DDC et de la coopération danoise.

Country/region Topic Period Budget
Mali
Education
Agriculture and Food Security
Vocational training and skills development
Labor market development
Agriculture value-chain development

01.01.2014 - 31.12.2017


CHF 12'667'000



Economic prospects for young people in rural areas

Farmers are being trained on the vertical tomatoes planting techniques which double their production. ©DDC

01.01.2013 - 31.12.2018

The SDC project in rural Aswan Governorate in Egypt aims to improve the economic prospects of local young men and women. The SDC promotes enterprises in the agricultural, livestock breeding and fisheries sectors to create new jobs and provide young people with an alternative to migrating to urban centres.

Country/region Topic Period Budget
Egypt
Agriculture and Food Security
Education
Economy and Employment
Labor market development
Agriculture value-chain development
Vocational training and skills development
Agriculture value-chain development
Vocational training and skills development

01.01.2013 - 31.12.2018


CHF 5'020'000



Modernising vocational education and training related to agriculture in Georgia

The image shows the VET college student Medea getting hands-on instructions in the Senaki College greenhouse on growing vegetables.

01.01.2013 - 31.12.2018

Georgia’s vocational education and training (VET) system does not correspond to the needs of the transition to a market economy which the government has sought to bring about since the country gained its independence. The SDC is helping the Georgian government to develop a more modern VET system that integrates theory and practice and allows a long-term increase in farm productivity and rural incomes.

Country/region Topic Period Budget
Georgia
Economy and Employment
Education
Agriculture and Food Security
Agricultural production (incl. management of natural resources)
Vocational training and skills development
Agriculture value-chain development
Small and medium-sized enterprises (SME) development

01.01.2013 - 31.12.2018


CHF 6'547'000



Using biofuels to combat the energy crisis

Farmer Fernando in front of a fermenter tank for making biogas from slurry (district of Calimete, province of Matanzas)

01.04.2012 - 30.09.2017

The use of biofuels does not necessarily have a negative impact on food production and thus on food security. The two goals can be combined, as is shown in an SDC project in Cuba. In July 2012 in Guantánamo a plant started work which transforms jatropha seeds into biofuel. Thanks to the Swiss biomass project, six Cuban communes now benefit from cheaper, renewable and reliable energy.

Country/region Topic Period Budget
Cuba
Agriculture and Food Security
Environment
Mitigation of the effects of climate change
Agriculture value-chain development

01.04.2012 - 30.09.2017


CHF 5'715'000


Object 1 – 12 of 137