Agricultural production systems


  • Analysis and improvement of production systems (plant and animal production)
  • Sustainable and efficient use of natural resources
  • Development of strategies to improve resilience of smallholders to climate change, structural changes, etc.


Prof. Nancy Bourgeois, Lecturer in International Livestock Systems

Prof. Dr Lindsey Norgrove, Lecturer in Tropical Crop Production

Prof. Dr Urs Scheidegger, Lecturer in Tropical Crop Production

Prof. Dr Christoph Studer, Lecturer in Tropical Crop Production and Natural Resources

Prof. Dr Pascale Wälti, Lecturer in International Livestock Systems

Matthias Baumann, Assistant

Nathalie Oberson, Research Scientist

Sebastian Mengel, Research Scientist

Laura Kuonen, Assistant 


Current projects and mandates

The portfolio of the Agricultural Production Systems team comprises research and service projects as well as short-term consultancies in various countries. Based on a holistic approach, many projects are of an interdisciplinary nature. A selection of projects:

Support to Professional Associations (Morocco)

The rural areas of Morocco are characterized by poverty and unemployment. In this situation, professional associations perform an important task: they help farmers and micro-entrepreneurs find sources of income and they provide technical support. The project aims to support four professional associations in providing its members with professional, high-quality services. HAFL contributes to the project with technical and methodological knowhow, especially concerning the identification of markets, the development of value chains and the establishment of farmer field schools.

Project management: Pascale Wälti

Project description

Water Tools Project (Nicaragua)

As part of an International Development Enterprises (iDE) project financed by the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC), HAFL is developing and testing tools for sustainable, productive water utilisation in small-scale farming. The tools are to help record water availability for irrigation, optimise farming operations in terms of income and water productivity, and determine irrigation needs for different crops.

Project management: Christoph Studer

Project description

FAO Agenda of Action for a sustainable livestock sector (Global)

Mandated by the Federal Office for Agriculture (FOAG) HAFL provides strategic, technical and organizational support for the development and implementation of the FAO initiative «Global Agenda for Sustainable Livestock». HAFL prepares statements on specific subjects, represents FOAG at meetings in Switzerland and abroad, develops proposals on organizational matters and monitors the development and implementation process of the initiative.

Project description


A more comprehensive overview of current projects in all areas of international agriculture is given in a separate  project list.