Milestones

Biovision was founded in Zurich on 3 June 1998 by Hans Rudolf Herren, Andreas Schriber, Mathis Zimmermann and Jürg Weber. Their vision: a world with enough healthy food for all, produced by healthy people in a healthy environment.

1.

Three men squat on the ground and discuss

Help for self-help

27 March 2001: Hans Rudolf Herren advises farmers living on Rusinga Island on Lake Victoria in Kenya on the biological control of pests in kale. Biovision seeks to transfer new research findings on ecological agriculture to farmers in the field, allowing them to improve their lives – an aim already achieved in practice with the first projects in Western Kenya. For example with the push-pull method ...

2.

Women in a field

Healthy food and an income

23 March 2004: 200 single mothers from the slums of Addis Ababa harvest vegetables from their community garden, allowing them to improve the diet of their families and earn an income from the sale of surpluses. After sound training in ecological farming, they transformed degraded land into a flourishing vegetable garden. The group of women were supported and monitored by Biovision and our Ethiopian partner BioEconomy Africa. Information about the current engagement in Ethiopia ...

3.

two men with a flytrap

Tsetse flies under control

31 May 2005: Lulseged Belayun, project manager on the joint project run by icipe (the international insect research institute) and Biovision, shows farmers in Luke (Ethiopia) how to use and maintain fly traps. People living in the region had been starving and had fallen into poverty after almost all their cattle died from the deadly sleeping sickness The disease is transmitted by the tsetse fly and as a result of the successful cooperation between the insect institute and the local population, the disease carrier was brought under control and the people escaped poverty. Another project...

 

4.

Three men are sitting at a PC

A newspaper for farmers

4 April 2007: Peter Baumgartner (project manager and editor-in-chief, left), Peter Kamau (editor, middle) and James Wathuge (graphic designer) work on the layout of The Organic Farmer. It is the only magazine for farmers in Kenya and was launched in 2005 by Peter Baumgartner, former Africa correspondent of the Swiss Tages-Anzeiger with funding from Biovision. Today, the magazine is packed with practical tips and background information on ecological agriculture and reaches more than 230,000 smallholder farmers.

5.

Woman explains something on a field to spectators

Love at first sight

1 January 2009: Start of cooperation with the project “Bustani ya Tushikamane” in Morogoro (Tanzania), for which Biovision provided start-up funding. The training centre developed quickly and is now regarded as the best address for information on agroecology in the country. In the meantime, the project founders have set up a successful NGO, Sustainable Agriculture Tanzania (SAT), which remains a Biovision partner. Photo: Janet Maro, agronomist and SAT director, teaches a group of farmers in the Uluguru Mountains.

6.

group picture

Alternative Nobel Prize for Herren and Biovision

26 September 2013: Hans Rudolf Herren and the Biovision Foundation are awarded the Alternative Nobel Prize for their work to combat hunger and poverty on our planet. They are the first Swiss to win the prize since it was initiated in 1980. In explaining its choice, the jury cited the scientific expertise and groundbreaking work of the winners, which is helping to pave the way for healthy, secure and sustainable food security in the world.

7.

two women and one man with Globi

Globi, the smart farmer

5 March 2014: Celebration on the Market Square in Oerlikon marking the publication of Globi, der schlaue Bauer (Globi, the smart farmer). Biovision produced the book in cooperation with the publishers of the Globi series in order to encourage ecological thinking and action in Switzerland. The book shows how our behaviour as consumers impacts the environment, the global food situation and the livelihoods of smallholders in Africa. Order the book ...

 

8.

Woman with mangoes

Success in the fight against mango fruit flies

11 February 2015: Danger averted in the mango grove. The project “Fruit Fly Control” run by icipe and Biovision has brought the pests that had invaded from Sri Lanka under control with a combination of environmentally friendly measures. The system of Integrated Pest Management (IPM) uses biological methods and targeted biopesticides. IPM is effective against both invasive and indigenous fruit flies. It has saved mango producers from huge losses and the environment from large amounts of chemicals.