Sustainable agriculture

Rural development and a strong agricultural sector reduce poverty and are the basis for sustainable economic development at all levels.

Around 80% of the world's extreme poor live in rural areas. In many developing countries, food security and rural development are ongoing challenges. Climate change and other global crises increasingly threaten rural livelihoods. Consequently, there is a rural exodus: poor farmers move to the cities in search of income, placing a greater strain on food security. 

Swisscontact aims to empower male and female farmers, within their socio-cultural and territorial context, to sustainably generate additional income and to be equipped for and capable of responding to dynamically changing climate and market conditions. At the same time, we seek to contribute to transforming the agriculture sector towards more sustainability, by building capacities of relevant system actors and developing inclusive, resource efficient and resilient agricultural systems, which strengthen natural processes and ecosystems.

Swisscontact works with a systemic approach addressing main bottlenecks in agricultural value chains and systems in collaboration with private and public partners as well as academia on three levels:

Promoting access of both male and female farmers to improved agricultural products, services and know-how and increasing their ability to make use of them

This includes:

  • Access to quality (sustainable) inputs and improved efficiency of input use
  • Access to technologies which increase the efficiency and sustainability of production and value chains
  • Access to extension services and information on improved and sustainable production, post-harvest practices
  • Awareness of climate change risks and capacity building on climate change adaptation

Creating market linkages and strengthening the entrepreneurial skills of farmers and farmers' organisations

Swisscontact facilitates collaboration and networks amongst relevant system actors, fostering entrepreneurial skills of farmers, organisations, and enterprises as well as building capacities of local public and private partners enabling them to deliver improved support services such as:

  • Commercialisation of sustainable products/practices
  • Dissemination of market information
  • Introduction and implementation of standards and traceability
  • Improved post-harvest, storage and processing skills and processes
  • Formal and informal financial products and services
  • Co-creation and sharing of information and knowledge among system actors
  • Promotion of beneficial digital solutions
  • Entrepreneurial and marketing skills and financial capabilities of male and female farmers (in particular youth) enterprises and organisations

Enhancing the enabling environment for improved performance, inclusiveness, and resilience of the overall system

Swisscontact supports the development and implementation of rules, regulations and policies which foster inclusiveness and resilience in the long-term and contribute to a sustainable transformation of agricultural systems by:

  • Strengthening legal and institutional frameworks and policies
  • Facilitating intragovernmental cooperation and institutionalised cooperation between the public and the private sector
  • Increasing knowledge of system actors by collaborating with Universities and Research Institutes
  • Setting standards for sustainable agricultural production and post-harvest practices
  • Improve productivity, efficiency, sustainability and resilience of agro-ecosystems at a landscape level
Value Chain 
Transforming Cocoa Farming into a Sustainable Business for Smallholder Farmers

Projects Sustainable agriculture

News Sustainable agriculture

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.