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.

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Current projects

Object 25 – 36 of 167

Upgrading Karm Abu Salem Crossing - Gaza

01.10.2020 - 31.12.2022

Switzerland will support improving the export/import conditions of goods to and from the Gaza Strip.

The project, implemented by UNOPS, will upgrade the poor infrastructure at the Palestinian side of

the only functioning commercial crossing between Gaza and Israel. The existing infrastructure con-

ditions are causing around 10% of damages to the transiting commodities thus incurring substantial

economic losses that are affecting the living conditions of two million people in the Gaza Strip


Innovative Vector Control Consortium (IVCC)

01.08.2020 - 31.07.2024

Vector-borne neglected tropical diseases (NTDs) and malaria are major causes of mortality, morbidity and lack of economic progress for the poorest. Targeting the vector (mosquito) is a main eradication approach. Due to climate change and natural mutation, insecticide resistance is affecting most malaria endemic countries. The Innovative Vector Control Consortium (IVCC) is the world-leader Product Development Partnership developing innovative and safe insecticides. SDC strategic support to IVCC complements Switzerland’s global action against malaria. 


Strengthening Social Protection in Jordan

01.08.2020 - 31.12.2021

Switzerland's contribution to this multi-donor project will provide social assistance to Jordanians households which are unable to meet their basic needs, including as a result of COVID-19, and at the same time support the institutional reform process of Jordan's social protection system. Switzerland will contribute to the reform process of the National Aid Fund to make it more effective, inclusive, accountable and sustainable. This first phase orient Switzerland’s engagement in upcoming phases which will be manly focussed on the institutional reform process.


Smallholder Safety Net Up-scaling Pro-gramme (SSNUP)

01.07.2020 - 31.12.2023

Smallholder Safety Net Up-scaling Programme is a multi-donor public private partnership to support small and medium agribusiness enterprises, farmer organisations and financial intermediaries in providing effective services to their smallholder farmer customers and members, thereby reducing their farm and livelihood risks. The programme will lead to higher incomes and more jobs notably for women as well as increased food security, contributing to improved livelihoods of an estimated 3 million smallholder households applying more sustainable farm practices.


Programme de renforcement de la résilience des ménages pastoraux et agropastoraux face aux crises climatiques et à l'insécurité (RESILIA) Phase 1

01.06.2020 - 31.12.2024

la DDC contribue au renforcement de la résilience de plus de 700’000 personnes dont les déplacées internes, affectées par la crise sécuritaire et les changements climatiques au Burkina Faso. Se basant sur la riche expérience de la Suisse dans l’élevage pastoral au Sahel, le programme va soutenir les pasteurs et agropasteurs pour que leur pratique d’élevage et moyens de subsistance s’adaptent aux défis climatiques et améliorent leurs conditions de vie tout en favorisant la paix au Burkina Faso.


Accès aux bénéficiaires en Afrique de l’Ouest

01.06.2020 - 31.12.2023

Dans un contexte d’insécurité civile et alimentaire croissante, aggravée par la crise économique et sanitaire due au Covid-19, seul le service aérien humanitaire des Nations Unies (UNHAS) permet d’accéder aux populations grâce à un transport sûr et rapide d’acteurs et de biens humanitaires et de développement. La contribution à UNHAS permettra d’atteindre les populations vulnérables dans les régions reculées, d’assurer le suivi des programmes suisses et de rendre compte sur ces derniers.


CROPS4HD - Consumption of Resilient Or-phan Crops & Products for Healthier Diets

01.06.2020 - 30.06.2025

The agroecological production and sale of neglected and underutilized species offers nutritional and health benefits for consumers, market opportunities for farmers and contribute to the sustainable use of biodiversity and climate change adaptation. In Chad, Niger, Tanzania and India and globally, SDC supports SWISSAID and its partners in establishing agroecological food and seed systems. FiBL, the leading Swiss Research Institute of Organic Agriculture supports this endeavour with scientific evidence.


Nutrition in City Ecosystems (NICE)

01.06.2020 - 31.07.2025

The Nutrition in City Ecosystems (NICE) project aims to improve nutrition and health, and to reduce poverty by increasing the demand and supply of diverse, agroecologically produced foods. Implemented by a Swiss public private consortium, NICE focusses on women, youth and vulnerable populations. City governments in two secondary cities each in Bangladesh, Kenya and Rwanda will be supported, and learning between cities, incl. Swiss cities, will be facilitated to contribute to the global discourse on sustainable food systems. 


Programme d’Appui au Plaidoyer des Faîtières des Organisations Socio-professionnelles Agricoles (AP/OSP)

01.05.2020 - 30.04.2024

L’agriculture constitue la principale source d’emploi et de revenu au Bénin. Or, les réformes dans le secteur de l’agriculture ne sont pas encore toutes définies de commun accord avec tous les acteurs. La Suisse contribue au renforcement institutionnel et à la gouvernance des faîtières des producteurs et éleveurs afin que ces derniers puissent mieux jouer leurs rôles d’interpellation, de proposition, de participation et de suivi de la mise en œuvre des politiques agricoles.


Programme d’Appui au Secteur du Développement Rural (Wusua Dabu) - PASDeR

01.05.2020 - 30.04.2024

Au Bénin, l’agriculture constitue la principale source d’emploi et de revenu. Des reformes ont été initiées par le gouvernement pour promouvoir les filières agricole et animale. Se basant sur les acquis des phases précédentes, la DDC vise à mettre à l’échelle le programme en élargissant la zone géographique d’intervention sur tout le Nord et d’augmenter le nombre de filières cibles, tout en s’inscrivant dans une approche plus économique et créatrice d’emplois pour les jeunes et les femmes.


Transforming Food Systems

15.04.2020 - 31.03.2023

The UN Food Systems Summit will take place in autumn 2021 (FSS21). It will be a catalytic moment for public mobilization and actionable commitments to invest in diverse ways in the transformation of food systems towards more sustainability, healthy nutrition, and resilience against climate change and epidemics. Switzerland’s contribution to the FSS21 preparatory process is support to a) a Swiss Sustainable Food Systems Event in Rome; b) the WEF Food Systems Initiative (FSI), c) the FSS21 Special Envoy Secretariat and d) enhanced communication. 


Opportunities for Youth Employment (OYE)

OYE recipients Elizabeth (L) and Hosiana, Dodoma 2021

01.03.2020 - 31.05.2024

Inspired by aspects of the Swiss Vocational Skills Development model, the Opportunities for Youth Employment project aims to improve the livelihoods of young rural and peri-urban out-of-school women and men. In addition to building youths' skills-set and connecting them with existing markets for gainful selfemployment in agriculture and renewable energy, this project will also contribute to a more youth friendly and effective market system and policy environment Co-funding is provided by the private sector.

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