Our research and expertise span over 70 on-going and historical projects in more than 40 countries. Our current and past projects demonstrate the breadth of applied research and consulting services delivered by BFH-HAFL’s cross-disciplinary research teams.

Selected Projects

The overall goal of this project is to improve the livelihoods of pastoralist and agro-pastoralist communities in Somalia and Djibouti. The project includes increasing community productivity by improving farming techniques and introducing sustainable management practices for water, watersheds, rangelands and small ruminants. The project is being carried out by TRANSTEC, together with Vétérinaires sans frontières Suisse and BFH-HAFL.

Improving Dryland Livelihoods in Djibouti and Somalia Enlarge image

Specific tasks of the BFH-HAFL team include:

  • capacity development and support for the development of participatory rangeland management plans
  • assistance in the implementation of an agricultural research strategy and the development of local research capacities, in particular by hosting Masters students at BFH-HAFL and supporting the development of the Aburin Research Center.

RISE is a computer-supported method developed at BFH-HAFL facilitating the holistic assessment of agricultural operations. The evaluation is based on ten indicators that reflect environmental, economic and social aspects. The most important data source is a questionnaire-based interview with the farmer. The evaluated data are visualised as a sustainability polygon and serve as the basis for a feedback dialogue in which the farmer and the trained RISE consultant together identify potentials for improving farm sustainability performance.

RISE has been used around the world by more than 300 trained RISE users in 60 countries on more than 4,000 agricultural operations. The operations evaluated include dairy, vegetable, arable and mixed farms, coffee, cocoa and tea plantations, African smallholdings and nomadic herders.

RISE sustainability Enlarge image

The Pinoy Tannin project aims to develop the scientific, technological, social and economic bases to set up a sustainable tannin value chain (including planting, extracting and processing) in the Philippines, and thus contribute to the creation of new revenue possibilities for local communities.

Pinoy Tannin Enlarge image

To reach this goal, the project intends to:

  • enable local communities to produce tannins in agroforestry systems and plantations of tannin-rich tree species using a new extraction technology
  • develop strategies to establish and promote a tannin value chain for the benefits of stakeholders in the Philippines
  • support a policy dialogue to integrate this new value chain and disseminate the scientific results in the scientific community.

In the long-term, it is envisaged that the project outcomes will contribute to a transition to sustainable land use in degraded forest landscapes and the creation of new job opportunities among local communities.

The project is being led by the BFH-AHB Institute for Materials and Wood Technology IWH , with BFH-HAFL responsible for coordinating the piloting of tannin plantations and supporting policy dialogues. The project is being carried out in close collaboration with the Visayas State University VSU and a number of other partner organizations.

Togo intends to participate in a UNFCCC mechanism for reducing greenhouse gas emissions from deforestation and forest degradation (REDD+). The World Bank is supporting Togo in its preparation for this REDD+ mechanism, with BFH-HAFL having provided technical assistance for the project since 2013. In addition to the general coordination of the process, BFH-HAFL has helped Togo define its REDD+ strategy, implement its first national forest inventory and analyse historical forest cover change and associated changes in forest carbon stocks, which will serve as references for determining future emission reductions to be achieved by implementing the national REDD+ strategy.

REDD+ Togo Enlarge image

The aim of the project is to develop labour-market oriented vocational education and training (VET) in the Syunik region in order to improve the livelihoods of farmers involved in the milk and meat value chains.

Vocational education and training (VET) in the Syunik region Enlarge image

The project is focused on developing the capacities of selected VET colleges and strengthening the links between VET schools and private sector to provide competence and activity-oriented practical education.

BFH-HAFL is supporting Goris State Agricultural College and ANAU Sisian Branch College in developing and implementing the new curriculum for animal health and milk processing specialists, and improving their advisory services. In addition to curriculum development, BFH-HAFL experts deliver a series of trainings, that enable local teams to acquire new skills and to learn new methods and tools for providing innovative and market-oriented VET in agriculture.

In this GIZ-funded project, the objective is to develop a competence-oriented curriculum of a practice-oriented bachelor’s degree programme in Food Science and Technology at Yezin Agricultural University (YAU) in Myanmar. This contributes to the wider mandate of the project focused on 'Enhancing the education, teaching and research capacities of public and private training and education institutions in food safety and quality'.

Yezin Agricultural University (YAU) in Myanmar Enlarge image

BFH-HAFL was mandated to support this process with inputs from its Food Sciences and Management Division and from the Teaching and Advising Group of its Transdisciplinary Subjects Division. The project was acquired with the support of the International Agriculture Group of the Agriculture Division. During the one-year consultancy, BFH-HAFL staff have provided competencies in food safety and quality management as well as overall thematic backstopping and needs-based conceptual support for studies, analysis and the development of the content of the established curriculum in collaboration with stakeholders from the public and private sector in food science and technology.

The study of the cotton value chain in Cameroon is aimed to help the Delegations of the European Union and their partners to develop political dialogue, invest in value chains and learn about the changes linked to their actions. Value chain analysis helps decision-making in the context of policy dialogue and investment operations. The study helped to contextualize agricultural development in the market dynamics and to determine the impact of value chains on small producers and businesses.

VCA4D-study (value chain for development) on cotton in Cameroon Enlarge image

The research study relies on Value Chain Analysis for Development tool funded by the European Commission / DEVCO and implemented in partnership with Agrinatura. It uses a systematic methodological framework to analyze value chains related to agriculture, livestock, fisheries, aquaculture and forestry.

This study was carried out in 2019 by Michel Fok (CIRAD), Matthias Meier (FiBL/HAFL), Gian Nicolay (FiBL), Oumarou Balarabe (CIRAD) and Romain Calaque.