Market of traditional grains in Kastamonu, Turkey (Photo: Alessandra Giuliani)



Celebrating soils

post in ETH Zukunftsblog by Prof. Johan Six about the significance of healthy soils for all life on earth, and about the necessity to use advances in soil knowledge to manage soils more sustainably


Nestlé invests CHF 80 million in factory for decaffeinated coffee beans

media release by Nestlé about its new coffee factory in Vietnam that will decaffeinate green coffee beans for use as raw materials in Nestlé’s coffee factories around the world to meet rising consumer demand for decaffeinated coffee


Of pastures and oil palm

post in ETH Zukunftsblog by PhD student John Garcia-Ulloa about the potential of using pasture lands to develop oil palm cultivation in South America


Seed Money Grants for projects with Argentina, Chile, Colombia, Mexico and Peru

the grants seek to initiate or intensify research collaboration between Switzerland and these five countries, researchers of Swiss universities from all disciplines can apply, deadline: 26 May 2015


Syprobio project presented at Expo Milano 2015

news by FiBL about the presentation at Expo Milano of its Syprobio project in West Africa that has been developed by farmers and researchers together with the aim to combine industrial management with organic farming


Call for FLASH Research Projects with India

The FLASH Research Programme is a new funding instrument that allows researchers of all disciplines to react immediately to exceptional events in India by setting up joint research projects, applications will be accepted until the earmarked funds have been fully allocated


Significant progress made in first year of The Good Growth Plan

media release by Syngenta about its first update on progress towards meeting the six commitments in The Good Growth Plan, which was launched in 2013 with the aim to support the future sustainability of agriculture and rural communities


Call for Nominations: GCHERA World Agriculture Prize 2015

the prize - sponsored by Nanjing Agricultural University - will be awarded to an academic/faculty member from a higher education institution working in the area of agricultural and life sciences in recognition of the academic/faculty member’s life time achievements, deadline for nominations: 25 April 2015


Evolutionary dead-end as a success model

article in ETH News about the work of ETH Ecologists who explain how the double coconut palm of the Seychelles grows the largest and heaviest seeds despite low nutrient levels


“We want to improve ‘R, D & D’ : the second D means delivery”

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interview with Camille Renou who coordinates the Syngenta Foundation's "Seeds2B" programme in West Africa that helps smallholder access better seeds


Swiss support for the development of organic agriculture in Albania

media release by FiBL about the launch - together with the Swiss Government - of a project supporting an Albanian organic certification body to offer professional inspection and certification services in order to facilitate access of small and medium enterprises to international markets


Tropentag 2015 Berlin: Call for papers

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The conferences theme is Management of Land Use Systems for Enhanced Food Security: Conflicts, Controversies and Resolutions


Bundesrat gegen Stopp der Nahrungsmittelspekulation

press release by alliancesud about the Swiss Government's rejection of a referendum agains speculation with food commodities


Call 2015: ERC Advanced Grants

this call by the European Research Council supports ground-breaking, ambitious research projects of excellent established Principal Investigators with a recognised track record of research achievements.


Swiss Institute of Bioinformatics (SIB) designated an FAO Reference Centre

press release by SIB about its appointment as FAO Reference Center, that is collaborating with FAO on the screening, monitoring and follow-up of zoonotic diseases such as avian influenza, and also on animal diseases such as foot-and-mouth disease.


Call: SNIS Award 2015 for best thesis in international studies

the Swiss Network for International Studies (SNIS) awards the best PhD thesis in any area of international studies defended at a Swiss University in the calendar year 2014. Deadline for submissions: 9 April 2015


ICARDA: Agrarforschung für ein besseres Leben

editorial in Agrarforschung about the work of the International Center for Agricultural Research in the Dry Areas (ICARDA) and the support by Switzerland


Powering Agriculture: An Energy Grand Challenge for Development

this call by USAID, Governments of Sweden and Germany, Duke Energy Corporation and OPIC is looking for new and sustainable technologies and business models for Clean Energy Solutions that increase agricultural productivity and/or value in developing countries; deadline for concept notes: 12 February 2015


Call: Doc.Mobility Fellowships

these fellowships by SNF are designed for doctoral students with Swiss nationality (or permanent residence) who wish to enhance their scientific profile by working at a research institution abroad; next deadline for submission: 01.03.2015


Den Preis für das billige Pflanzenöl bezahlen die Bauern

news by Swissaid about a press conference in Abidjan informing about the acquisition of land by multinational companies for palm oil production and the negative consequences for local small-scale farmers


Call for papers: Conference of the Society for Tropical Ecology in Zurich

In 2015 the Annual Conference of the Society for Tropical Ecology will be held at ETH Zurich from 7 to 10 April under the title "Resilience of Tropical Ecosystems: Future challenges and opportunities." The deadline for submission of abstracts as well as early registration has been extended to Wednesday 14 January 2015!


Optimizing the use of water for drip irrigation

information by CODEV/EPFL about an irrigation project that alerts small producers in the semi-arid regions of Burkina Faso to the best time to irrigate by the means of wireless sensor technology


FAO-FiBL Workshop - a knowledge exchange forum for greening of food value chains

FAOs framework, with a focus on "greening of food value chains" (GFVC) has been discussed at a workshop organized in collaboration with FIBL in Rome on November 27 and 28. The proceedings will be uploaded mid-December.


Offene Tür bei Alliance Sud InfoDoc

Alliance Sud InfoDoc celebrates an open house the 22nd of January 2015.


Einspruch gegen Monsantos Klima-Patent auf Sojabohnen

press release by Berne Declaration on its apeal - together with other NGOs - against a patent granted by the European Patent Office to Monsanto for genetic selection of drought resistant soybean


Three new long-term research projects for CDE

information by CDE about three new projects it is involved in under the r4d programme: Food Sustainability, Telecoupled Landscapes and Invasive Species


International Centre for Land use and Bio-resources mooted

Article in the Hindu on an Indo-Swiss research unit proposed at Pondicherry University


Call: Young Scientists Networking Conference on Integrated Science

The International Social Science Council and the International Council for Science are planning to assemble a group of early career researchers with diverse backgrounds and research perspectives to reflect on Future Sustainability and the role of Science; deadline for applications: 22 December 2014


Call: ERC Consolidator Grants

These grants support excellent Principal Investigators by funding their ground-breaking, ambitious research projects in any research area. Researchers at Swiss host institutions are fully eligible. Deadline: 12 March 2015


Call: Nestlé Creating Shared Value Prize

with this prize Nestlé aims to help business-oriented initiatives that address challenges in nutrition, water, or rural development, to scale-up or be replicated; deadline for submissions: 28 February 2015


First Socio-Economic Atlas of Kenya released by CDE and partners

The Atlas combines geographic and socio-economic data and enables readers to gain a spatial understanding of dynamics affecting Kenya; the Atlas is the result of a collaboration between two Kenyan institutions and the Center for Development and Environment (CDE) in Bern, Switzerland


New SFIAR President and Vice-President

At its last meeting on 30 October 2014 the SFIAR has elected Beate Huber (FiBL) as its new president and Michelle Grant (ETH) as its new vice-president


SNIS Call for Projects 2015

the Swiss Network for International Studies (SNIS) offers project grants for pluri-disciplinary research teams in any area of international studies; among the 2015 special subjects is "Marrying development and sustainable production & consumption regimes"; submission deadline: 22 January 2015


Mehr als 40 Prozent des Ackerlandes in China ist geschädigt

short article by LID about the alarming deterioration of soil quality in China due to soil degradation and industrial pollution


Taste of the Ukrainian Carpathians at the Salone del Gusto 2014

media release by FiBL about the presentation of the Ukrainian Carpathians Trademark to a large international audience by four Ukrainian companies as part of the Swiss-Ukrainian Organic Market Development Project, funded by the Swiss State Secretariat for Economic Affairs (SECO) and implemented by FiBL


Eight new r4d projects approved

the funding decisions for the thematic research modules "Ecosystems" and "Food Security" have been made within the "Swiss Programme for Research on Global Issues for Development"; the descriptions of the new r4d projects are available on the r4d website


SDC Agriculture and Food Security Network Newsletter 10/2014

The October issue of the Network Newsletter features contributions by Network Members on: fresh fruit and vegetable markets, climate resilient development in E&S Africa, seed security for food security and on small farmer participative innovation.


Videos of Conference "Food Security - Science and Public Trust"

videos of the presentations and discussions held at the 13th Dialogue on Science entitled "Food Security - Science and Public Trust" where 180 scientists from many different disciplines from all over the world discussed approaches to resolve the problem of hunger


Call: Louis Malassis International Scientific Prize for Agriculture and Food

The Agropolis Fondation honours individuals, or a group of individuals, for promoting innovation through research, development and capacity building in order to improve food and agricultural systems sustainability. Deadline for submission: 4 December 2014


New Project: Reshaping coexistence of different food systems in South America & Africa

short description of a new research project granted by the SNF and SDC and coordinated by Geneva Academy and University of Bern that focuses on empirical research into the factors that influence food sustainability within and between different food systems coexisting in selected regions of Bolivia and Kenya


No-till farming only beneficial in dry regions

article in ETH News about a major overview study by an international team of researchers, including ETH scientists, examining the yields achieved through conservation agriculture in various regions around the world


Oil palm in Africa: an opportunity too good to miss?

blog post in the ETH Zukunftsblog by ETH doctoral student John Garcia-Ulloa on the ongoing oil-palm expansion in Africa


New alliance drives innovation for African food security

The new Alliance for Agricultural R&D for Food Security brings together the Australian International Food Security Research Centre (AIFSRC) in ACIAR, the Syngenta Foundation for Sustainable Agriculture (SFSA) and the Crawford Fund.


Towards healthy soils - organic matter matters

The journal Farming Matters calls for articles


Call for Contributions: World Food System Conference 2015

Call by the World Food System Center of ETH Zurich for contributions to its international conference taking place on Monte Verità, Ascona, Switzerland from 21 to 26 June 2015


Call for pilot activities with Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand and Vietnam

Call by ETH Zurich and EPFL offering grants to researchers from Switzerland for people exchange, conferences and workshops or for seed funding for initiating larger joint activities. Deadline for application: 23 November 2014.


Insekten – wichtige Akteure für die Nahrungsmittelsicherheit

interview by SDC with Segenet Kelemu, director general of the International Centre for Insect Physiology and Ecology (ICIPE), an African research institute SDC has been supporting for many years


Nestlé inaugurates major Dairy Farming Institute in China

press release by Nestlé about the inauguration of a big dairy farming institute in Northeast China as an effort to help modernise Chinese dairy farming practices to enable farmers to sustainably meet the country’s fast-growing milk demand


Profiting from the private sector – so seeds meet needs

press release by the Alliance for Agricultural R&D for Food Security (including Syngenta Foundation) about the launch of a projects that aims to ensure that new crop varieties better meet the needs of African smallholders and their customers


Projekt-Abschluss: Förderung des Biolandbaus an Universitäten in Südosteuropa

press release by FiBL about the successful conclusion of a SCOPES-Project aiming to improve university teaching in the area of biological agriculture in Southeastern Europe


Weltweit gibt es weniger Hungernde

article in the newspaper Suedostschweiz, wherein the Deutsche Welhungerhilfe pointed to the fact, that hunger was reduced 39 percent since 1990.


SDC project wins prize for innovative approach

press release by the Federal Department of Foreign Affairs about the “mini seed packs” initiative supported by SDC being awarded a prize by the Development Assistance Committee (DAC) in Paris


CAS Nachhaltige Entwicklung

information by CDE about its Certificate of Advanced Studies (CAS) in Sustainable Development, a course for professionals providing solid knowledge, offering room for reflexion and leading to implementation according to the needs of participants


ERC Starting Grant 2015: Call Now Open

information by Euresearch about the Call for ERC Starting Grants supporting excellent Principal Investigators at the career stage at which they are starting their own independent research team or programme. Deadline for submissions: 3 February 2015


r4d Programme: 2nd thematically open call

the "Swiss Programme for Research on Global Issues for Development" (r4d Programme) invites researchers from Switzerland with their partners from Africa, Asia and Latin America to submit projects in all thematic areas. Deadline for submissions: 6 February 2015


Food wastage costs the world 2.6 trillion dollars each year

Media release on the publishing of the FAO’s final report on Food wastage footprint, which contains scientific inputs from the FIBL revealing the social costs of food waste


Switzerland’s role in negotiations for a new development agenda: building bridges, influencing outcomes, offering concrete proposals

An interview with Ambassador Michael Gerber, special representative for global sustainable development


Climate Change: Rules of thumb turned upside down

article in ETH News about a new analysis of land regions, in which ETH climate researchers are challenging the general climate change precept that dry regions are getting drier and wet regions are getting wetter


The Good Growth Plan on track one year after launch

news release by Syngenta about the progress - one year after its launch - of the "Good Growth Plan" in which Syngenta has formulated six measurable commitments for the year 2020 to help address the global food security challenge


Durchsichtiges Greenwashing: Syngentas «Good Growth Plan» ist eine Mogelpackung

media release and report by Erklärung von Bern criticising Syngenta's «Good Growth Plan» for hiding the main problems by selectively choosing targets and indicators


A new rice cultivation method: hard work, but successful

SWISSAID has supported more widespread use of the “System of Rice Intensification” (SRI) in Myanmar. Farmers have said that they could boost up the rice yield and the family income.


Partial association of Switzerland to Horizon 2020

Switzerland and the EU have found an agreement for a so-called partial association to Horizon 2020.


International Geneva Award 2014

call by SNIS for its International Geneva Award aiming to encourage scientists working in a Swiss university to produce publications that are particularly relevant for International Organisations. Deadline for submissions: 6 October 2014


Swiss Government Scholarships for Foreign Scholars 2015-2016

The Swiss government awards scholarships to foreign researchers that provide graduates from all fields with the opportunity to pursue doctoral or postdoctoral research in Switzerland at one of the public funded university or recognised institution; details and deadlines depend on country of origin.


Pre-announcement: Second r4d thematically open call

the joint SDC-SNSF "Swiss Programme for Research on Global Issues for Development" (r4d) will launch the second thematically open call on 8 October 2014; the deadline for the submission of the pre-proposals is scheduled for 6 February 2015


Helvetas Clip Award: Hunger Games

view the submitted videos illustrating critical aspects of global food production and consumption


Call: Marie Sklodowska-Curie Innovative Training Networks (ITN)

information by Eursearch about the Marie Sklodowska-Curie Action offering funding for institutions which are actively involved in research and training; Swiss organisations can only be partners in an ITN and receive funding directly from the Swiss Government; the call will close on 13 January 2015


ETH Zurich in Africa

news by ETH Zurich about a memorandum of understanding with Stellenbosch University in South Africa to advance science and technology for the benefit of society in the areas of sustainable production systems, human nutrition, and conservation ecology


Participatory research – an efficient tool to empower farmers and foster innovation

media release by FiBL about the outcomes of a Symposium on participatory agricultural research attended by experts and partners of FiBL's "Farming Systems Comparison in the Tropics" project


Water footprint: successful Swiss commitment to the new ISO standard on water usage

press release by the Swiss Federal Department of Foreign Affairs on the adoption of a new ISO standard for conducting a water footprint assessment, the development of which has been actively supported by Swiss agencies


Winter School 2015: “Global Water Challenges”

The Winter School is organized by ETH Zürich within its Engineering for Development (E4D) programme. It is directed at Master and PhD Students and will mainly focus on Water & Health, Water & Food, and Water & Energy. Deadline for applications: 12 October 2014


Guatemala bittet wegen Dürre um Hilfe

article in "20 Minuten" about the current drought in Guatemala and about protests against a new law allowing for patents on seed


Successful final workshop on the promotion of organic farming in South-East Europe

news by FiBL about the SCOPES project ‘Promoting university education in organic farming in South-East Europe’ and its final workshop that took place from 22 to 23 May 2014 in Tirana, Albania


Decision on Publication of SNSF Advanced Grant Postponed

information by Euresearch recommending interested researchers to be ready to submit to the ERC Advanced Grant by 21 October


A family that no longer fears failure

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portrait by Syngenta Foundation of a Kenyan farmer family that has recently signed up for a farm insurance offered by the Foundation's Kilimo Salama program


Verhandlungserfolg bei Grundsätzen für verantwortungsvolle Investitionen in die Landwirtschaft

news by the Swiss Federal Office for Agriculture and the Federal Department of Foreign Affairs on the successful completion of negotiations in the Committee on World Food Security about Principles for Responsible Agricultural Investments


Call: "World Food System" Grants

The ETH World Food System Center calls for submissions for its two research programs "Sustainability in Food Value Chains" and "Organic Production Systems for Food Security" (note: Principal Investigators must be members of the Center). Submission deadline: 1 November 2014


Appel: Prix CSRS – Fonds Eremitage pour la recherche scientifique en partenariat

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Le prix a pour but d’honorer des chercheurs pour l’excellence de leur contribution à la recherche en partenariat entre des institutions scientifiques au Nord et en Côte d’Ivoire et/ou dans des pays d’Afrique de l’Ouest. Délai de soumission: 31 décembre 2014


Die Schweiz forscht - für die Welt

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In an interview with Coopzeitung Michelle Grant, Executive Director of the ETH World Food System Center, talks about the Center and its mission and about the four research projects on sustainability in food value chains that are supported by the Coop Reserach Program


Integrated Crop Management: New Masters/Diploma of Advanced Studies

Launched by CABI, the University of Neuchâtel, Switzerland and the Jura Canton, this new programme will offer individuals from around the world the opportunity to learn about sound crop management principles and to explore solutions that can be incorporated into practice and policy back home. Deadline for application: 1 September 2014


Call for articles: Nutritional values and family farming

The last issue of Farming Matters for 2014 will focus on how family farming. The editional team of the magazine looks forward to receiving articles on the topic of nutrition.


Switzerland and IGAD sign framework agreement on partnership and cooperation

press release by the Swiss Federal Department of Foreign Affairs about the signing of a framework agreement between Switzerland and IGAD (an organisation of 8 countries in the Horn of Africa) for increased cooperation in food security, migration, peace and security, as well as in the field of science.


Farmers from different backgrounds get together in Switzerland

news by SDC about a one-day conference on family farming held in Grangeneuve that provided an occasion for friendly and informative discussions between farmers from different countries


SNSF Advanced Grants: call expected in mid-August

information by SNSF on its plans to launch a call for SNSF Advanced Grants to replace the ERC Advanced Grants, from which researchers in Switzerland are currently excluded


Call for Best Sustainable Development Practices on Food Security

The call is aimed at recognising and promoting the visibility of best practices represented by policies, technologies, know-how, services and products, related to the theme of EXPO Milano 2015 "Feeding the planet, Energy for life". Deadline for submissions: 15 September 2014


Horizon 2020: Support for researchers in Switzerland

the Swiss Federal Council has approved interim measures to support researchers in Switzerland who are involved in projects and programmes financed under Horizon 2020 and who will no longer receive any funding from Brussels


Hunger Games – Dreh deinen Film!

Helvetas Clip Award 2014

with its Clip Award 2014 Helvetas Swiss Intercooperation is looking for creative video clips on the subject hunger and nutrition, deadline for submissions: 31 August 2014


Is organic farming the prototype for sustainable agriculture?

news by FiBL about a new book with this title, edited by INRA and with contributions from FiBL researchers


«Der Mensch muss beim Kampf gegen die Wüstenbildung im Zentrum bleiben»

An interview with Mr. Yves Guinand, programme officer within the SDC's Food Security Section on the combat of desertification and drought


Call for papers: Vulnerability & resilience to natural hazards & disasters in mountains

The journal "Mountain Research and Development" is seeking policy- and practice-oriented, well-validated insights into the effectiveness of disaster risk reduction and recovery approaches in mountains. Deadline for submissions of papers: 15 September 2014


New Research Projects Funded through ETH World Food System Center Programs

This spring, six new research projects were funded through the Center’s two competitive research programs, “Sustainability in food value chains” (Coop Research Program) and “Organic and agroecological systems for food security” (Mercator Research Program).


SCOPES 2013-2016: second call

The SCOPES programme boosts scientific co-operation between research groups and institutions in Switzerland and in Eastern Europe. A second call is currently open for the following funding schemes: Conference Grants, Institutional Partnerships, Preparatory Grants and Valorisation Grants. Submission deadline: 15.11.2014


Blog of SDC A+FS Network Meeting

follow and comment the discussions of the SDC Agriculture and Food Security Network F2F Meeting (2-6 June 2014, Thun, Switzerland)


Agrarspekulation: Kampagnen kontraproduktiv

an article, published in the explaining why the NGO’s campaign against food speculation might be counterproductive


r4d Programme: First 17 research projects have started their work

news by r4d about the start of the first projects within the framework of the "Swiss Programme for Research on Global Issues for Development"


"We have managed to improve the public perception of farming"

interview by SDC with Nino Zambakhidze, Chairwoman of the Georgian Farmers Association, about her successful career as a farmer and entrepreneur in Georgia


SDC development cooperation with Mongolia

article by SDC on its activities in Mongolia focusing on agriculture and food security, vocational education and training, and decentralisation


FiBL-Projekt in der Ukraine trotzt der politischen Krise

press release by FiBL on its project to develop the organic market in Ukraine; while the current political crisis has some impact on project acitivities it confirms the importance to improve the access of Ukrainian farmers to international markets.


Demand-Driven Plant Variety Design: Sowing the seeds that meet customers' needs

The Syngenta Foundation explains its view of "demand-driven" approach to R&D.


Video: Helvetas Benin Shea Butter Project

Short video on a Helvetas project that provides training support for shea butter production in Benin.


China will Handel mit Afrika verdoppeln

article on about China's intention to double its trade with Africa


CABI, UniNE et Canton du Jura : un master pour une agriculture durable

CABI and the University of Neuchâtel (UniNE) are preparing in collaboration with the canton Jura a post graduate formation in Integrated crop management.


Kochen mit Gas aus dem Schweinestall

Article published in die Tierwelt on pigs, biogaz and sanitation


Ten years of development cooperation in Mongolia – in pictures

short overview of SDC's cooperation activities in Mongolia


Swissaid fordert „Tatbeweis“ von Syngenta

information by Swissaid about its intervention at the Syngenta General Assembly critizising inconsistencies in Syngenta's „Good Growth Plan“


Call: International Geneva Incubator Workshops 2014

The Swiss Network for International Studies (SNIS) supports workshops that foster collaboration between International Organisations and Swiss academics in the domain of international studies. Deadline for submissions: 4 June 2014


Farming in times of climate change – a FiBL project in search of sustainable systems

press release by FiBL on the recent launch of a project, where FiBL’s scientists are devising ways to make land uses water-efficient and nutrient-efficient, thus enhancing productivity and food security in arid zones.


"Changes must take place in both donor and recipient states"

interview with Martin Dahinden Director-General of the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC)


Feminisation, agricultural transition and rural employment (FATE)

new project starting in May 2014 within the Swiss r4d programm and aiming to analyse the effects of the increasing integration of rural women and men into export-led agriculture


Syngenta and UNCCD build partnership for a Soil Leadership Academy

press release by Syngenta about the establishment of an Academy that aims to address the soil conservation challenge globally; it will engage research institutes, universities, and on-the-ground practitioners to share knowledge and expertise in soil conservation and sustainable land management


Call for Marie Sklodowska-Curie 'COFUND' Action

To encourage researchers to move across borders, Marie Sklodowska-Curie Actions offer additional funding to support existing or new regional, national and international doctoral and fellowship programmes for research training and career development.


Call: Syngenta Photography Award

Syngenta announces that the second Syngenta Photography Award is now open for entries. The Award theme is "Scarcity-Waste". Professional and amateur photographers from all over the world are invited to submit their applications until 15 September 2014.


Partners improve food supply and smallholders’ income

Media release on the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding between Syngenta Foundation Bangladesh and PRAN Agro Business Limited signed in Dhaka. The agreement enables PRAN to provide better supports and buy high-quality produce from smallholders, who can therefore earn better incomes.


New project on the economic performance of organic farming in Africa

FiBL and IFOAM, together with partners in Ghana and Kenya, have recently launched the project "ProEcoOrganicAfrica" with the aim to get a scientific data set on how productive and economically efficient organic farms in Africa are.


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