The Global Programme Food Security (GPFS) of the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC) has launched an open call for proposals for Agrobiodiversity for Improved Food Security and Nutrition.
The ultimate goal is to improve food security and nutrition of smallholder farmers, especially women, through sustainable use and conservation of farmers’ varieties/landraces, neglected and underutilized species respecting agroecological approaches. This projects seeks to innovate and develop new and effective strategies and policies across several countries to strengthen agrobiodiversity, through innovative demand based market approaches and an enabling regulatory environment.
For achieving the overarching goal, SDC intends to support project proposals that contribute to the following outcomes:
- The demand of urban and rural consumers for products from farmers’ varieties/landraces, neglected and underutilized species and a healthy diet is increased.
- Smallholder farmers, especially women, grow farmers’ varieties/landraces, neglected and underutilized species as a viable business and are able to improve their livelihoods.
- Regulatory frameworks, strategies and policies at local, national and global level reflect the particularities of integrated seed systems, create an enabling environment for innovative market approaches and incentivize the consumption of healthy, diverse and agroecologically produced food.
The proposed theory of change is that if demand for products derived from farmers’ varieties/landraces, neglected and underutilized species is increased or created (PULL) then smallholder farmers have new market opportunities to sell such products to generate income (PUSH). This requires access to appropriate and healthy seeds of such varieties. This demand further creates market opportunities for seed producers, either farmers, farmer’s cooperatives or small- and medium businesses. An enabling environment, including a policy framework that respects the particularities of integrated seed systems, appropriate policies and incentives for innovative and equitable markets and national and international research activities, ensures a proper functioning of such a system. Positive outcomes at national level will be brought to the attention at global level with the potential to influence global policy frameworks and to be replicated in other countries (POLICY). As a consequence agrobiodiversity is maintained, the sustainable use of farmers’ varieties, neglected and underutilized species enhanced and smallholder’s food security and nutrition improved through increased income or availability of diverse crops.
- In the framework of this call, SDC may choose one single proposal for funding.
- SDC’s contribution for the first phase will be a maximum of CHF 2’500’000 per year and covering a maximum of 50% – 80% of the total cost of the project. In phase 2 and 3 SDC’s contribution will cover a maximum of 50% of the total cost of the project.
- The period foreseen to support financially a potential project is 10 years to take due account of the complexity and the long-term nature of the project’s development objectives. Contractually and conceptually, the project should be divided into three successive phases. SDC intends to sign a contribution contract for each phase. The first phase of the project shall last 4 years (June 2021 – May 2025), followed by a possible second phase of 4 years (June 2025 – May 2029), and a possible shorter third phase (until May 2031). The possible phases 2 and 3 will depend on both satisfactory performance achieved in the previous phases and on confirmed funding availability.
The project should focus on 3 – 4 countries in Africa and Asia. It shall be relevant at local and national level and have a clear link to policy frameworks at national, regional and global levels. A window of opportunity and openness at national level with regard to the development of the enabling environment and policy framework is key for success.
- Multi-stakeholder approaches, including public-private partnerships, are welcome.
- Exclusive research projects will not be considered.
- Contributions to projects and initiatives together with other donors and/or contributions to ongoing projects are eligible and should underline SDC’s added value.
- Synergies and complementarities to SDC financed programme are welcome.
- The call for proposal welcomes applications from partner institutions (single organization or consortium of different stakeholder groups). They are looking for partners with proven experiences and competencies in the mentioned fields, including successful facilitation at national and global policy level, demonstrated capacity to develop and implement projects of similar volume and complexity and a good anchoring in and context knowledge on the focus countries. In case of a consortium, the composition of the applicants should ensure complementarity, coherence and competence in all related fields.