Switzerland has a population of around 8 million people and is a typical grassland. Many areas, such as mountains and hills as well as the climate, are not conducive to crops other than grass production. Cultivation of crops such as cereals, potatoes or vegetables are limited to relatively small areas in the lowlands. Three quarters of the area cultivated by farmers consist of meadows and pastures.
Agricultural production focuses on the following food crops: sugar beet, wheat, apples, carrots and potatoes.
81%–98% of the food energy consumed in Switzerland comes from crops that are not native to the region. Most of these plants’ diversity is found elsewhere around the planet.
Switzerland ratified the International Treaty on Plant Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture (ITPGRFA) in 2004, joining 142 other contracting parties in commitment to a global system. Additionally, Switzerland contributed USD 11,666,554 to the Crop Trust, of which USD 10,992,704 was allocated to the Endowment Fund.