Sustainable agriculture

An inclusive and resilient agricultural sector as the basis for rural development and poverty reduction

Around 80% of the world's poor live in rural areas. In many developing countries, food security and rural development are ongoing challenges and agricultural production and food systems are increasingly threatened by climate change and other setbacks. 

For a large part of the rural population, agriculture is the basis of their livelihoods. However, for most small-scale farmers earning a living income is a daily struggle. Limited access to quality inputs, technologies and up to date knowledge results in low productivity and quality. Remoteness, low connectivity and low bargaining power leads to farmers being excluded from markets and having difficulties selling their products at reasonable prices. Furthermore, the needs of poor farmers are often neglected in existing policies and regulations. To improve farmers’ incomes, we work to address improved access to resources, strengthened market linkages, and more inclusive policies and regulations.

"For many years, we have relied on income from the sale of fish and vegetables. It was difficult to feed a family of four. We earned additional income from planting rice and potatoes. But this was also risky, because downpours, thick fog, drought, and storms destroyed the harvest. In 2021, I found out about crop insurance and soon took one out. I received weekly weather forecasts and agricultural advisory services free-of-charge. This helped me to better manage my crop. In April 2022, I suffered great losses when my potato fields were damaged by a storm. Because I was insured, I was reimbursed for most of my losses. This gave me a feeling of security. By and by, I have started to invest in planting other crops."
Ms Tohura Khatun, a Bangladeshi farmer, project participant BMMDP

Expanding our reach

Agricultural systems are highly complex with a variety of factors that influence productivity and the functioning of market systems. We develop and implement our projects based on a thorough assessment of the agricultural system, and build on the incentives of local actors to address these challenges at three levels: 

  • We empower farmers to increase their production and improve their adaptive capacities by providing them with relevant skills, know-how and networks.
  • We strengthen the capacities of enterprises and local service providers to develop quality products and services.
  • At the system level, Swisscontact fosters policies and regulations that support the empowerment of small-scale farmers.  

Unlocking the power of partnerships

To develop viable and sustainable solutions which are anchored in the local systems, we always work closely with partners from the private sector, as well as public authorities and research institutions. We are convinced that inclusive and sustainable agricultural systems can only thrive in the long term if the private sector has an active role in driving change. We therefore seek to identify incentives and co-develop business models that work for the benefit of smallholder farmers and preserve or regenerate natural resources. 

What we offer

Swisscontact contributes to transforming agricultural systems for the benefit of farmers and ecosystems, with the aim of generating more income for smallholder farmers and strengthening their adaptive capacity, while regenerating natural resources and minimising greenhouse gas emissions. 

Our projects: 

  • Strengthen the technical and management capacities of farmers and farmer groups.
  • Enable private enterprises to develop and introduce improved and climate-smart products and services tailored for the needs of smallholders.
  • Support public authorities to improve their support services and to develop policies and regulation that promote inclusiveness and sustainability.
  • Collaborate with research institutions to support the development of products which increase productivity and resilience.
  • Facilitate collaboration and partnerships amongst different actors.

Swisscontact's innovative solutions

Swisscontact builds the capacities and connectivity of all actors within an agricultural system. We offer support to improve agricultural and management practices, facilitate the introduction of improved climate-smart products and technologies to the market and strengthen the linkages with research. We create better support services and improve framework conditions by building partners’ capacities and fostering inclusive policies

Contact us today to benefit from our many years of experience.

Discover a wealth of resources and meet the most relevant partners to work with to develop and implement sustainable solutions that are anchored in local systems.

Value Chain 
Transforming Cocoa Farming into a Sustainable Business for Smallholder Farmers

Projects Sustainable agriculture

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Our expertise
Our expertise focuses on creating economic opportunities for our beneficiaries. It covers skills development, inclusive economic development, and climate change and food systems.