Visitors to LUGA’s Hall 4 are met with a colourful market of foods from all over the world. Here, they can stop and taste the various products on offer, such as coffee from Vietnam or ajvar from Kosovo. They can also meet the ‘plant doctors’ who show farmers in 35 countries how to avoid and deal with crop failures or pest infestations. Swiss Humanitarian Aid employees are there to talk about their day-to-day work in refugee camps and disaster areas. And there is even a typical West African café, the ‘Maquis’, where visitors can snack on delicacies from Niger and Benin.
A new experience for many will be the virtual reality headsets on show, giving visitors an almost lifelike 3D illusion of unfamiliar worlds – and a glimpse beyond the boundaries of their own kitchen walls.
Smallholder farmers feed the world
The bulk of the world’s food supply is produced by smallholder and subsistence farmers, herders and fishing communities. A third of the world’s working population earn their livelihood from agriculture, but 70% of them live in poverty.
The goal of Swiss development cooperation is to reduce poverty. Better production conditions help to make this a reality, as do measures to overcome environmental issues and to improve access to education and healthcare. Some specific examples:
• In Vietnam, farmers are learning how to achieve the same coffee yields using less water.
• In Niger, young people receive vocational education and training so they do not have to leave their rural communities for work.
• In Kosovo, courses are offered on food processing, preservation and commercialisation, creating new jobs and better prospects for people living there.
• In 35 countries worldwide, farmers can obtain free advice from plant doctors to help control any pests or fungal diseases affecting their crops. Switzerland supports the training of these plant doctors.
• In Benin, corn harvests are now protected from insects with a simple metal silo – a solution that also creates jobs for metalworkers.
• Swiss Humanitarian Aid provides emergency assistance to people affected by crises and natural disasters. The root causes of hunger, however, are often high food prices or armed conflicts.
Address for enquiries:
Tel.: +41 58 462 31 53
Fax: +41 58 464 90 47