Climate Change: Complex Challenges for Agriculture

Lack of water, scorched hay fields and fire bans: Liechtenstein* suffered from heat waves and drought last summer. But what do the weather extremes mean for farmers in the Global South? How can they address these complex challenges?

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Reviving traditional knowledge

20 years Biovision highlights. 2014 - in the Tharaka Plain, east of Mount Kenya, communities face ever more frequent droughts. As part of their response to this threat, they are building on knowledge handed down from their forefathers and growing traditional, native varieties – with success.

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“Everything is huge here”

What did Kenyan organic farmer Margaret Karanja discover when she visited a biodynamic farm in Switzerland? We accompanied Margaret on a tour of the organic operations run by the Fintan Foundation in Rheinau.

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Rio+20: We keep going!

20 years Biovision highlights. 2012 - At its annual conference in Rome, the Committee on World Food Security (CFS) took initial steps towards implementing the mandate it was given at the Rio+20 conference. Biovision was well represented at the talks. We are now seeking to ensure that the decisions taken at Rio are not watered down.

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National Councillor Maya Graf (BL) elected to Biovision Board

Maya Graf, Green National Councillor for Basel Land and an organic farmer has been elected to the Biovision Foundation Board. The election of Maya Graf provides us with the services of a highly qualified, well-connected and committed colleague,” said Biovision President Dr Hans Rudolf Herren with obvious pleasure.

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Camels not cattle

20 years Biovision highlights: Since 2011, Biovision has been promoting camels as livestock. They require very little water or extra nutrition. This guarantees food and income success for Kenya’s shepherds.

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Symposium 2018: The Awakening has Begun

At the Anniversary Symposium, Biovision reflected on 20 years of real help. The pioneers took a journey into its past with over 1,000 guests in Zurich’s fully-booked Volkshaus.

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Biovision active in the global dialogue

20 years Biovision highlights. 2010 - the Political Dialogue and Advocacy team at Biovision has been active on the political stage, as this is where the strategic decisions on sustainable food security are taken. The success of Biovision in shaping the International Assessment of Agriculture Knowledge, Science and Technology for Development, Rio + 20 and Agenda 2030 clearly demonstrates the need for lobbying on agro-ecological issues.

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Biovision fights environmental poison

20 years Biovision highlights. 2009 - Although using DDT was already banned in many countries in the 1970s, it continues to be used in agriculture and to combat malaria. In 2009, Biovision campaigned for alternatives to DDT at an international conference.

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Help is a mouse click away

20 years Biovision highlights. 2007 - East African farmers have long sought help for agricultural problems. Now they can find it in the "Infonet", a kind of Wikipedia for farmers. But how does this work in places that lack access to digital technology?

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Stop Malaria

20 years Biovision highlights. 2006 - For decades, malaria was the most common cause of death in the coastal town of Malindi in Kenya. Suddenly, the town had far fewer mosquitoes and so fewer cases of the disease. For Dr Anisa Omar, the reason was clear: behind the success was a Biovision pilot project.

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What proliferates the more it is shared?

The locks from the dam in the Uluguru Mountains in Tanzania were opened at the end of 2013. Torrential rain ripped plants and soil from their steep slopes and left behind a wake of destruction. In the Towelo region, few arable crops were able to survive the downpour. They had one thing in common, though: they were all planted on terraces.

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Sounding Soil – Listening to the soil

How does it sound under the ground in Switzerland? At the Zentrum Paul Klee in Bern, Sounding Soil was presented, which enables the public to experience sounds in the soil. The installation can still be seen in Bern until 25 November 2018. Sounding Soil is a multi-year campaign to raise awareness of soil issues.

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Food security through knowledge

Far too little rain, depleted soils and on top of that hordes of pests decimating their harvests and threatening the food security of East African smallholders and their families. The Biovision “Infonet” provides them with the necessary knowledge and gives them the chance to produce enough food for themselves. World Food Day is on 16 October.

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Changing course is essential if we are to tackle climate change

How can the 1.5 °C goal still be reached? The CLARA report, to which Biovision also contributed, shows how make the shift.

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New farmer magazine in Kenya

20 years Biovision highlights. 2005 - Biovision funds the farmer magazine “The Organic Farmer” in Kenya. The magazine, published officially by ICIPE in Nairobi, was started by Peter Baumgartner, former Africa correspondent of the Tages-Anzeiger in Zurich. The magazine has been enthusiastically received, as Peter reports.

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Genf nimmt sich der Agenda 2030 an

Die «Fédération genevoise de coopération», die UNO, die Universität Genf und Biovision überlegen gemeinsam: Wie kann unsere Gesellschaft den Wandel zu einer nachhaltigen Entwicklung beschleunigen?

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Bee-keeping as a chance for orphans

20 years Biovision highlights. 2004: An orphanage in Kenya needs funding and so has been looking at new sources of income. It has opted for beekeeping. The work by Biovision goes even further and extends to preventive health care and a sound professional future for the boys and girls.

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Improvisation is everything!

A waste sorting plant in a small Kenyan village? During my trip to Boji, a remote village of 700 people, I was amazed to come across a large heap of rubbish. I am actually here to report on the project “Camels for drought areas” but the waste mountain sparks my interest.

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On the trail of the Malaria mosquito

20 years Biovision highlights. 2003: In the highlands of Kenya, malaria is not active all the year round. But after long rainy spells, the disease reappears, killing many people. ICIPE researchers have recently developed a way to prevent this.

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Nach Fair-Food-Nein: Wir bleiben gemeinsam dran!

Obwohl eine Mehrheit der Stimmbevölkerung die Fair-Food-Initiative abgelehnt hat, stösst das Ziel von umweltschonenden und regional produzierten Lebensmitteln weiterhin auf breite Zustimmung. Jetzt sind der Bundesrat und Parlament gefordert, bei fairen Handelsbeziehungen, dem ressourcenschonenden Umgang mit Lebensmitteln und der Verwirklichung eines nachhaltigen Ernährungssystems vorwärts zu machen.

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Organic farmer Lucy Muigai: The January picture in the Biovision calendar

What should small farmers use the grass for when it is scarce: for feeding cattle or producing compost? Lucy Muigai from Central Kenya helped solve this dilemma. Last summer, Patrick Rohr photographed the active organic farmer for the 2019 Biovision calendar.

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“Big problems are being addressed on a small scale.”

Daria Lehmann completed a three-month internship in Kenya in the field of development cooperation. What experiences stood out to her and what does she intend to do now? A conversation with Daria after her return to Switzerland.

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Working together to preserve resources

Farmers from Dunduni, village in the Tharaka lowlands of Kenya want to preserve the trees on Ntugi Hill that are threatened by overexploitation.

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“My life has changed so much”

Nixon Onyimbo from Samia in Western Kenya is a champion of the environment both at work and at home: He inspires his fellow villagers and even his own children.

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