Agriculture among top priorities for 2014 to 2020; funding is almost exclusively bilateral

The Commission spent US$1.1 billion on ODA for agriculture and rural development (including forestry and fishing) in 2015. This makes it the third-largest donor in absolute terms. It corresponds to 7% of total ODA.  Virtually all agricultural ODA is channeled bilaterally.

Sustainable agriculture is highlighted as one of five key priorities of the EU’s development cooperation for 2014 to 2020, and funding is therefore likely to remain stable in this area. The priority areas set out for 2014 to 2020 are small-holder agriculture, the formation of producer groups, supply and marketing chains, as well as government efforts to facilitate responsible private investment. The Commission allocated €1.4 billion of the Programme on Global Public Goods and Challenges (GPGC), funded through the Development Cooperation Instrument (DCI) for the period from 2014 to 2020, to the priority area ‘Food and Nutrition Security and Sustainable Agriculture’. In line with commitments at the 2014 Africa-EU Summit, the Pan-African Program under the Joint Africa-EU Strategy funds the Comprehensive Africa Agriculture Development Programme (CAADP). The next Africa-EU Summit will take place in November 2017.

For further details on methodology, see our Donor Tracker Codebook.

In 2015, bilateral funding focused on agricultural policy and administrative management (30% of bilateral ODA for agriculture), agricultural and rural development (17% each), and forestry development (7%).

Multilateral support to agriculture in 2015 was limited to core multilateral contributions to the United Nation’s Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO), which received US$159,000 as multilateral aid in 2015.  In addition, the Commission co-finances different programs of multilateral organizations that are reported as bilateral ODA, as they are earmarked for particular regions. In 2015, US$96 million went to the FAO via bilateral ODA, US$244 million went to the World Food Programme (WFP), and US$48 million to the International Food and Agricultural Development Fund (IFAD).

Agricultural research amounted to US$33 million in 2015. The EU provides funding for the Consultative Group for International Agricultural Research (CGIAR), financed from the GPGC’s envelope for food security and sustainable agriculture. The Commission’s contributions to the Consortium of International Agricultural Research Centres have declined under the new multiannual financial framework (MFF), dropping from US$31 million in 2014 to US$14 million in 2015, according to CGIAR. This only includes funding that is managed by the Commission headquarters in Brussels. EU delegations in developing countries are likely to contribute additional funding directly to local CGIAR centers and bring overall contributions to a similar level as in previous years. In the past, the Commission has also directly supported the Committee on World Food Security (CFS) to support specific workstreams and activities.

DG DEVCO’s Directorate on Sustainable Growth and Development leads policy in agriculture ODA

Within the Commission’s Directorate-General for Development Cooperation – EuropeAid (DG DEVCO), the Directorate ‘Sustainable Growth and Development’ is in charge of policies related to agriculture ODA. Two units are relevant: Unit C1, ‘rural development, food security and nutrition’, and Unit C2, ‘environment, ecosystems, biodiversity and wildlife’.