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
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 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
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
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
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
blog post in the ETH Zukunftsblog by ETH doctoral student John Garcia-Ulloa on the ongoing oil-palm expansion in Africa
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.
The journal Farming Matters calls for articles
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 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.
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
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
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
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
article in the newspaper Suedostschweiz, wherein the Deutsche Welhungerhilfe pointed to the fact, that hunger was reduced 39 percent since 1990.
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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.
Switzerland and the EU have found an agreement for a so-called partial association to Horizon 2020.
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
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.
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
view the submitted videos illustrating critical aspects of global food production and consumption
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
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
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
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
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
article in "20 Minuten" about the current drought in Guatemala and about protests against a new law allowing for patents on seed
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
information by Euresearch recommending interested researchers to be ready to submit to the ERC Advanced Grant by 21 October
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
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
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
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
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
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
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.
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.
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
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
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
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
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
news by FiBL about a new book with this title, edited by INRA and with contributions from FiBL researchers
An interview with Mr. Yves Guinand, programme officer within the SDC's Food Security Section on the combat of desertification and drought
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
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).
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
follow and comment the discussions of the SDC Agriculture and Food Security Network F2F Meeting (2-6 June 2014, Thun, Switzerland)
an article, published in the schweizerbauer.ch explaining why the NGO’s campaign against food speculation might be counterproductive
news by r4d about the start of the first projects within the framework of the "Swiss Programme for Research on Global Issues for Development"
interview by SDC with Nino Zambakhidze, Chairwoman of the Georgian Farmers Association, about her successful career as a farmer and entrepreneur in Georgia
article by SDC on its activities in Mongolia focusing on agriculture and food security, vocational education and training, and decentralisation
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.
The Syngenta Foundation explains its view of "demand-driven" approach to R&D.
Short video on a Helvetas project that provides training support for shea butter production in Benin.
article on schweizerbauer.ch about China's intention to double its trade with Africa
CABI and the University of Neuchâtel (UniNE) are preparing in collaboration with the canton Jura a post graduate formation in Integrated crop management.
Article published in die Tierwelt on pigs, biogaz and sanitation
Second call for nomitations of experts scoping a thematic assessment of land degradation and restoration
deadline: 8 June 2014
short overview of SDC's cooperation activities in Mongolia
information by Swissaid about its intervention at the Syngenta General Assembly critizising inconsistencies in Syngenta's „Good Growth Plan“
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
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.
interview with Martin Dahinden Director-General of the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC)
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
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
the Working Group II contribution to the Fifth Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change has just been published
Syngenta Foundation has launched Farmforce with the support of Seco and others to help smallholders gain access to formal markets and improve the effectiveness of outgrower schemes; a new Farmforce website has just been published.
The Swiss parliament approves a more strict regulation for tax reduction on agrofuels. In the future, agrofuels that are used or produced in Switzerland must conform to stricter ecological and social standards.
Funding line of the University of Basel to finance kick-start activities with partners in Africa with the aim to incentivize and further collaboration between Swiss and African researchers. Deadline for submission of project ideas: 30 April 2014
press release by the African Agricultural Technology Foundation and the Syngenta Foundation for Sustainable Agriculture (SFSA) about the launch of a private public partnership that will tackle the shortage of quality seeds in Africa
news item by FiBL about a competition among small-scale farmers in India in the context of FiBL's long-term farming systems comparison project.
Organic farming helps poor farmers find a way out of poverty and hunger. This video lists the most convincing points.
Call for experienced scientists (postdocs) who want to strengthen their career through mobility. Deadline for submissions: 11 September 2014
press release by the State Secretariat for Economic Affairs about the International Cocoa Organisation's meeting in Switzerland
Centre for Development and Environment CDE just published an issue of its magazine Mountain Research and Development.
For its Symposium «International Agriculture in a Changing World: Good News from the Field» HAFL invites all interested participants to submit abstracts presenting their research or field experiences. Deadline for submission: 7 April 2014
press release by Berne Declaration on discussions in the Swiss parliament to only partly implement the regulations of the Nagoya Protocol on fair and equitable sharing of benefits arising out of the utilization of genetic resources
The SDC Global Programme Food Security (GPFS) has launched three calls for abstracts of project proposals (not research projects) in the area of food security and nutrition. Submission deadline: 23.4.2014
mit einem an der ETH entwicklelten Computerspiel, verstehen, wie effizienter Waldschutz bezahlt werden kann
press release by Agroscope on a collaboration with a Cuban research center to establish a soil monitoring network similar to the one used in Switzerland
The Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation SDC just published the March 2014 issue of its magazine „Eine Welt“.
Au Niger, SWISSAID soutient le processus de décentralisation et appuie les communes en les considérant comme porte d’entrée de toutes ses interventions et en renforçant leur rôle régalien de maître d’ouvrage. Elle intervient dans les régions de Dosso et Tillabéri, et au niveau national dans le domaine du plaidoyer. Swissaid promeut depuis...
The Agriculture and Food Security Network of the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC) will hold its next F2F Meeting from 2 to 6 June 2014 in Thun, Switzerland. Subject: "Smallholder family farms - What is their future?" Deadline for Pre-Registration: 19 February 2014
The Swiss Network for International Studies (SNIS) gives an Award for the best PhD thesis received in a Swiss University in 2013 on a subject related to International Studies. Deadline for applications: 8 April 2014
news by IFC on two grant agreements, with a combined value of $3.9 million, with the Syngenta Foundation for Sustainable Agriculture to expand index-based insurance to small-scale farmers in Kenya, Rwanda and Tanzania
The High Level Panel of Experts on Food Security and Nutrition (HLPE), is looking for inputs by the scientific and knowledge community for its study on critical and emerging issues in the area of food security and nutrition.
A new webpage informs about SDC's focus and activities in the area of family farming; three films produced by the SDC address the issue of smallholder farming in developing countries, and project examples show SDC’s work.
the Swiss Committee of the International Year of Family Farming presents farming families around the world, who write about their daily lifes on Facebook (in German)
KFPE’s Learning Events Programme supports researchers from developing countries involved in research partnerships with a Swiss institution. Deadline for the submission of Learning Events Projects: 28 February 2014
Impact Story by Syngenta Foundation Bangladesh from its project "Sustainable Agriculture for Santal Communities"
Helvetas Swiss Intercooperation has joined Alliance2015, a network of eight independent European non-governmental development organisations.
The Swiss Network for International Studies (SNIS) offers project grants for pluri-disciplinary research teams in the area of international studies (all subjects). Deadline for submissions extended to 22 January 2014
news article by FiBL about the potential of organic agriculture in Morocco that has been discussed at a recent Symposium in Agadir
KFPE and IGS North-South have launched an online database of Swiss research institutions and their counterparts in countries of the global South and East who are (or have been) involved in research partnerships
The European Commission has published the first wave of calls for proposals that trigger the launch of H2020, among them calls in the area of "Sustainable Food Security", for example on "Sustainable intensification pathways of agro-food systems in Africa" or on "the role of small and familiy farms in food and nutrition security".
article by SDC about the results of a panel discussion on Switzerland’s participation in the UN’s post-2015 sustainable development goals with representatives from research, NGOs, the private sector and the federal administration.
comment by Isolda Agazzi of Alliance Sud on the results of the WTO conference in Bali and especially on the sucess of an Indian initiative that allows the country to reduce the prices of food staples in order to improve the food security of its citizens
media release by FiBL about results from a long-term experiment in India, showing that organic cotton has lower yields but also lower production costs than genetically modified (GM) Bt cotton, with results strongly depending on the environmental conditions
The Indo-Swiss Collaboration in Biotechnology (ISCB) invites pre-proposals on genetic improvement of the pigeon pea crop employing modern biotechnology tools and techniques along with relevant socio-economic research proposals. Deadline for submissions: 30 January 2014
WOCAT has produced short videos in which land users personally describe and demonstrate their practices of sustainable land management
The latest issue of this Newsletter informs about Rural Advisory Services and ICT, the GFRAS Annual Meeting, the PHM Subgroup Meeting in Addis Abeba, SDC's view on innovation in agriculture, CSE recommendations on investing in smallholder agriculture, the RIICE project helping asses Haiyan damage, videos on research impact and more.
The European Commission published most of the Horizon 2020 draft work programmes on its official Horizon 2020 website, among them the programme "Food security, sustainable agriculture and forestry, marine and maritime and inland water research and the bioeconomy"
short film about the Agriculture Index Insurance project of Syngenta Foundation made in connection with the November 2013 Tech Awards, at which the project won the Flextronics Economic Development Award
comments by Berne Declaration on the upcoming WTO Ministerial Conference in Bali (3-6 December 2013) and the opposing interests between developing and developed countries, especially in the area of agriculture
press release by SDC on the International Year of Family Farming 2014
press release by Lindt & Sprüngli about the extension of its program to support cocoa farmers in Ghana to improve agricultural, social and ecological condition of cocoa production.
The Swiss National Science Foundation (SNSF) promotes junior researchers in all disciplines; one condition is that the application should be submitted up to 5 years after the doctorate. The next submission deadline is 14 February 2014.
The funding decisions for the second thematic research module "Employment in the context of sustainable development" of the Swiss Programme for Research on Global Issues for Development (r4d) have been made
press release by the Swiss Government about an agreement with Austria to share experience with sustainable development of mountain regions around the world and to raise political leaders' awareness of the specific needs of these regions.
Carmen Thoennissen looks back on Switzerland's three-year chairmanship of the European research platform EIARD.
Maize Lethal Necrosis Disease showed up in Kenya in 2011. The disease spread up in Africa very fast, destroying large areas of maize crop. Syngenta foundation for sustainable agriculture co-finance a research center in Kenya, screening and development of resistant maize varieties in order to help farmers grow healthy corn again.