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The seed has germinated: Swiss development cooperation in the agricultural sector is having effects

Bern, 07.12.2010 - Switzerland’s development cooperation in the agricultural sector is bearing fruit. The nearly CHF 1.2 billion deployed between 2003 and 2008 have helped to increase the production and the productivity of family-run agricultural enterprises, improve framework conditions for trade, and optimise the value chain between producers and consumers. Each year, Swiss humanitarian aid also helps several million people in critical situations. These are some of the conclusions of the joint report of the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC) and the State Secretariat for Economic Affairs (SECO) on the effectiveness of Swiss development cooperation in the agricultural sector.

The second report on the effectiveness of Swiss development cooperation shows with concrete examples the impact of the CHF 1.189 billion invested between 2003 and 2008 on recipient countries in Africa, Asia, Southeast Europe and Latin America. A total of 27 projects, programmes and other SDC and SECO contributions were evaluated by external experts for the report, which shows that the money spent in the agricultural sector was well invested and that Switzerland is appreciated around the world as a knowledgeable and reliable partner. 

Unlike many other donor countries, Switzerland has not reduced but in fact increased its activities in the agricultural sector over the past 20 years. Switzerland’s commitment to reducing poverty, improving food security and promoting sustainable economic growth has made a tangible contribution to overcoming the food crises in recent years. The report also stresses the complementary nature of bilateral and multilateral funding, as well as of direct involvement with producers and the indirect influence of trade policy framework conditions. It suggests that improvements could be made in Swiss development cooperation through the inclusion of women in various programmes and projects and efforts to achieve a coherent policy on trade in agricultural products.

Isolated measures alone cannot ensure a sustainable impact – rather a skilful combination of different instruments adapted to the specific context. At a time of climate warming, scarcity of natural resources and a world population that continues to grow, Switzerland’s commitment to agriculture and food security remains a central pillar of worldwide efforts to combat hunger and poverty. 

The 2010 report on the effectiveness of Swiss development cooperation in the agricultural sector was published by the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC) and the State Secretariat for Economic Affairs (SECO). It is available in English, German and French, and can be downloaded from the internet at the following addresses: www.deza.admin.ch/publikationen and www.seco-cooperation.admin.ch/shop. 

For additional information:

Stefan von Below, FDFA, Media spokesperson, Tel. +41 31 322 34 73, info@eda.admin.ch

Violette Ruppanner, Communications Officer, SECO Economic Cooperation and Development, Tel. +41 31 324 09 10, Violette.Ruppanner@seco.admin.ch

Catherine Cudré-Mauroux, Evaluation Officer, SECO Economic Cooperation and Development, Tel. +41 31 324 09 10, Catherine.Cudre-Mauroux@seco.admin.ch

 

Additional indications:

external  The SDC up close – a look at current SDC projects
external  Wirkungsbericht der Schweizer Entwicklungszusammenarbeit im Landwirtschaftssektor 2010 (de)
external  Dossier Food Security
external  Trade promotion
external  Report on Effectiveness: Swiss development cooperation in the agricultural sector 2010

Address for enquiries:

Information FDFA
Bundeshaus West
CH-3003 Bern
Tel.: (+41) 031 322 31 53
Fax: (+41) 031 324 90 47
E-Mail: info@eda.admin.ch

Publisher:

Federal Department of Foreign Affairs
Internet: http://www.eda.admin.ch/eda/en/home/recent/media.html
State Secretariat for Economic Affairs
Internet: http://www.seco.admin.ch
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