Welcome to the Biovision foundation board!


Peter Lüthi, Biovision

Former Biovision Programme Officer Shruti Patel was elected to the Foundation Board at the end of June. In her new role, she will continue to support Biovision’s work and put first-class scientific research into practice.

“I want to continue to be part of Biovision. It is wonderful to work with people I appreciate and admire, who sometimes challenge me, and with whom I can share my own perspectives.” Shruti Patel, newly elected board member, added that in her new role she wants to pursue the same goals she had already pursued as programme officer: namely to more effectively bridge research and practice. “I want to strengthen Biovision’s influence within communities and organizations working for sustainable food systems,” Shruti Patel adds.

Formative childhood years in Kenya

Shruti Patel was born and raised in Kenya. Her interest in agriculture was awakened as a child. “I wanted to understand why people suffer from hunger in a country that is rich in arable,” she recalls. After studying agricultural economics at Nottingham University in the UK, she returned to Kenya with many new questions. After a short stay, however, she decided to continue her education in development studies at the University of Cambridge. After completing her master’s degree, she worked in various positions in the field of development cooperation. In Lesotho, for example, Shruti Patel gained experience cooperating with the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank. She then coordinated a sustainability project for flood-prone areas in Bangladesh, and she supported the governments of Romania and Tanzania in designing education programmes for low-income people. She then took a position as a research associate at the Centre for Development Policy and Research at SOAS at the University of London, where she worked with policy makers in Zambia and Azerbaijan towards alleviating poverty in resource-rich countries.

Her time at Biovision

After moving to Switzerland, Shruti Patel the joined agricultural machinery manufacturer AGCO as a strategy consultant for Africa. Aware of the importance of the private sector in creating development solutions, she founded a social enterprise in Kenya that focuses on job creation and skills development in the informal sector. In 2016, she joined Biovision as programme officer for the Farmer Communications Programme and to disseminate Push-Pull – Biovision’s effective, environmentally friendly method of controlling insect pests and plant parasites, which also increases soil fertility and water retention. Push-pull thus enables better harvests and saves farming families from requiring expensive synthetic pesticides and fertilizers.

Shruti’s curiosity and the changes in development cooperation drew her back to research. Since March 2021, she has been a senior lecturer at NADEL, the Centre for Development and Cooperation at ETH Zurich. There, she focuses on the topics of food and nutrition security as well as on building partnerships for development and behavioural change. Biovision’s foundation board and staff are very pleased to be able to continue to count on Shruti Patel’s expertise and commitment.



“Everyone should earn something from the hibiscus tea”

The Zurich start-up Five Good Goods only sells products that the producers really earn money from – and stands for fair working conditions and prices. The hibiscus tea from the Biovision partner organisation Sustainable Agriculture Tanzania (SAT) is one of the products that has made it into the start-up’s online shop. Owner Johannes Küng tells us in an interview what makes the tea so valuable.

Food security in rural Ethiopia

In southwestern Ethiopia, rural households are struggling with soil degradation and crop failures. Working together, they are taking measures to limit soil erosion and also to diversify their sources of income, in order to protect themselves from crises.
Agriculture, Politics

For Overcoming the Global Food Crisis, We Need More Agroecology

Reducing organic production to fight the food crisis would be disastrous. Much more urgent for overcoming the crisis is the transformation to a sustainable food system.

Fertile soil – thanks to participatory research

Ten years ago, the fields of Patrick Maive and Joyce Wangari hardly yielded anything. That all changed when they set out to make their soil fertile again, with the help of Kenyan researchers.