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ENGAGE with Society

PSC facilitates participatory agroecosystem research

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When PSC started the call for the ENGAGE project in March 2019, we could not anticipate the great interest of civil society actors and stakeholders such as farmers' associations, NGOs and local grass-root. They formulated their needs for participative research in agroecology.

In a workshop held on May 23, 2019, participants jointly formulated research questions and project ideas. In all projects, the actors see a strong need to reflect on and improve their own agro-ecological farming practice. Specific questions were formulated for the researchers, who can provide important impulses for sustainable agriculture that respects natural cycles. The participation of civil society actors provides a real opportunity to substantially enhance agro-ecological farming, which ultimately responds to the needs of producers and consumers.


  • Forschungsinstitut für Biologischen Landbau, FiBL
  • Verein Boimig, Männedorf
  • Kleinbauern-Vereinigung, Bern
  • Vision Landwirtschaft, Oberwil-Lieli
  • Bio Suisse
  • Beratungs- und Bildungszentrum Arenenberg
  • Fachstelle Gemüse- und Beerenbau Thurgau und Schaffhausen
  • Weinbaubetrieb Arenenberg
  • Swisspatat
  • Zollinger.Bio
  • ProSpecieRara

In 2020, the first project: Unlocking genetic resources of buckwheat to diversify Swiss agricultural and food systems was launched.

Project partners are Prof. Bruno Studer ETH Zurich and Philipp Holzherr, ProSpecieRara, Switzerland.Funded by: NAP-PGREL, Bundesamt für Landwirtschaft, Paul Schiller Stiftung, MSCA-H2020-RESPONSE. The project aims to identify buckwheat varieties adapted to Swiss production conditions and to the market’s needs. Thisprepares the ground for buckwheat improvement through breeding by establishing genomic tools which will facilitate the process of combining beneficial traits of multiple accessions. The buckwheat varieties will be made available through the Swiss National Gene Bank (PGREL/RPGAA) and the outcomes of the project will be shared through stakeholder meetings and scientific publications.

Fachtagung Buchweizen 25th of August 2023