Smallholder and family farming

Smallholder farming family in a cabbage field in Honduras
Small farms produce almost half of the world’s food needs. © SDC/Fritz R. Staehelin

Smallholders and family farms play a key role in feeding the world's growing population and creating and preserving jobs in rural areas. They can also help to stem migration. In order to stay in business, smallholders need access to stable markets, infrastructure adapted to their needs, and access to education, training and financial and information services. The SDC helps them to adapt to change and to boost production in a sustainable way.

The Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) of the United Nations  defines smallholders as small-scale farmers, pastoralists, forest keepers and fishers who manage areas of less than 10 hectares. Smallholder farms are characterised by family-focused motives and it is the families who are responsible for everything from production to farm maintenance. Part of what is produced is consumed by the family itself. Smallholder farming is about a third less productive than large-scale farming. Despite this fact – or indeed because of it – Switzerland is convinced that supporting smallholder and family farming contributes to alleviating world hunger and poverty.

The SDC's support for smallholders and family farms in developing countries mainly consists of assisting them to adapt to climate change, to changing available means and methods of production, as well as to new market demands in order to boost and improve their production.

Links

Documents

Global Programme Food Security (GPFS) at work no. 4: Smallholder/Family Farming
[en] (PDF, Page 1, 49.1 kB, English)

Investing in Smallholder Agriculture for Food Security – A Report by the High Level Panel of Experts
[en] (PDF, 2.6 MB, English)

Factsheet: Les exploitations agricoles familiales et la sécurité alimentaire
[fr] (PDF, Number of pages 2, 321.1 kB)

Better income for Georgian farmers
[en] (PDF, Number of pages 4, 821.9 kB, English)

Current projects

Object 73 – 84 of 3082

Good schools for all Malian children

Children sitting at school desks inside a large tent.

01.01.2014 - 31.03.2018

The Government of Mali has reaffirmed its commitment to improving the quality of education as a priority. The SDC is providing support in this area in two respects: improving the quality of primary school education and decentralising education in general. This concerns three peripheral regions of the country. The SDC is also encouraging the creation of programmes adapted to children who have interrupted their schooling and to nomadic populations.

Country/region Topic Period Budget
Mali
Education
Primary education
Education facilities and training
Education policy

01.01.2014 - 31.03.2018


CHF 9'900'000



Supporting Decentralisation and Local Government

Albanian women visiting the Bushat municipal office.

01.01.2014 - 31.12.2018


Switzerland supports Albania's transition to a democratic society. The decentralisation and local development programme (dldp) strengthens local government in North Albania and disseminates best practices at national level. It has introduced new models for local government functioning in areas such as waste management, public finance management, and e-governance.

Country/region Topic Period Budget
Albania
Governance
Decentralisation

01.01.2014 - 31.12.2018


CHF 9'620'000



Programme d’Appui à la Formation Professionnelle

01.01.2014 - 31.12.2019

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
Vocational training
Employment & economic development
Agriculture & food security
Education
Vocational training
Employment creation
Advanced professional training
Agriculture value-chain development (til 2016)
Education facilities and training

01.01.2014 - 31.12.2019


CHF 16'957'000



GFATM: The Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria – Core Contribution

01.01.2014 - 31.12.2016

The GFATM is an independent, non-profit foundation that was incorporated in Geneva, Switzerland, in 2002. Its purpose is to attract and disburse additional resources to more successfully prevent and treat AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria. Being mainly a financial institution and not an implementing entity, it works through collaborations with country-based partners.

Topic Period Budget
Health
Infectious desease
Sexually transmitted diseases incl. HIV/AIDS

01.01.2014 - 31.12.2016


CHF 60'000'000



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 & food security
Agricultural development
Agricultural research

01.01.2014 - 31.12.2017


CHF 8'750'000



Local farmers meet the private sector

01.01.2014 - 31.12.2017

In northern Mozambique, the SDC connects farmers and various private sector enterprises to stimulate agricultural production and combat poverty. Supplying farmers with good-quality seeds is essential.

Country/region Topic Period Budget
Mozambique
Employment & economic development
Agriculture & food security
Business support & economic inclusion
Agricultural development
SME development

01.01.2014 - 31.12.2017


CHF 8'185'000



UNICEF: United Nations Children’s Fund – Core Contribution

01.01.2014 - 31.12.2016

UNICEF is one of the UN's largest development and humanitarian organisations and Switzerland's most important partner when it comes to the protection of children in developing countries and in times of crisis. As outlined by the Convention on the Rights of the Child, UNICEF protects children's rights, helps to meet their basic needs and works to improve their chances of reaching their full potential.

Country/region Topic Period Budget
Global
Other
Sector not specified

01.01.2014 - 31.12.2016


CHF 66'000'000



Programme for Supporting Decentralised Management of Literacy in Benin (PAGEDA)

An adult literacy centre in a Fulani camp in the village of Goure Bene, municipality of Nikki, Borgou, 2014

01.01.2014 - 30.09.2020

The programme for supporting the decentralised management of literacy services in Benin (PAGEDA) aims to provide high-quality literacy programmes that will enable 30,000 people (50-50 gender split, with most aged 15-30), who are excluded from or have no access to the formal education system, to acquire life skills and fully exercise their rights. The programme also aims to address gender, age and regional disparities in relation to access to education.

Country/region Topic Period Budget
Benin
Education
Vocational training
Employment & economic development
Basic life skills
Vocational training
Employment creation

01.01.2014 - 30.09.2020


CHF 6'320'000



The SDC supports efforts to improve conditions for the protection of children and adolescents

Six young people in a circle drawing on the ground with chalk.

01.01.2014 - 31.03.2018

The government in Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH) wants to reform the country's juvenile criminal legislation and improve the conditions of detention and follow-up for  juvenile criminal offenders. The Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC), the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) and the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (Sida) have been conducting a project to this end since 2009.

Country/region Topic Period Budget
Bosnia and Herzegovina
Governance
Other
Human rights
Legal and judicial development
Sector not specified
Human rights (incl. Women's rights)

01.01.2014 - 31.03.2018


CHF 2'250'000



Water management and peace promotion in the Middle East: Water as a source of peace

01.12.2013 - 30.06.2016

Since 2009, Switzerland has been involved in a new type of cooperation which combines peace promotion and the sustainable management of water resources in the Middle East. This region is experiencing a major crisis caused by the decline in quality and the progressive drying up of numerous common water resources. An independent report published in 2011 established that the sustainable management of cross-border water resources on a political level could not only avoid natural disasters and human tragedies but could even develop into a means of promoting peace.

Country/region Topic Period Budget
Near East
Other
Water
Agriculture & food security
Conflict & fragility
Water diplomacy and security
Water sector policy
Agricultural water resources
Conflict prevention
Water resources conservation

01.12.2013 - 30.06.2016


CHF 3'048'000



Strengthening the Role of Local Communities in Bosnia and Herzegovina

Image of a ceremony of distributing certificates for local community and municipal representatives

01.11.2013 - 29.02.2020

Given the complex and difficult political and administrative environment in Bosnia and Herzegovina municipalities face serious challenges to serve their citizens properly, and citizens feel that their needs are not heard by politicians. The local administrative levels are considered the most dynamic and responsive ones to address citizen’s concerns. The project Strengthening the Role of Local Communities focuses on empowering Local Communities (Mjesna Zajednica – MZ) to raise citizens’ responsiveness, participation, and social inclusion in local development processes.

Country/region Topic Period Budget
Bosnia and Herzegovina
Governance
Decentralisation
Democratic participation and civil society

01.11.2013 - 29.02.2020


CHF 4'774'568



Building a better future with cleaner bricks

Workers packing the fired bricks

01.11.2013 - 31.10.2017

Clay brick production in South Africa produces large emissions of greenhouse gases due to the use of old, energy-inefficient clamp firing systems. To solve this problem SDC is supporting the South-South technology transfer of the Vertical Shaft Brick Kiln. This energy-efficient technology considerably reduces coal consumption and cuts CO2 emissions by half. The first pilot plant was inaugurated in September 2011 in Jeffrey’s Bay, Eastern Cape.

Country/region Topic Period Budget
South Africa
Climate change and environment
Employment & economic development
Biosphere protection
SME development

01.11.2013 - 31.10.2017


CHF 4'150'000


Object 73 – 84 of 3082