Fighting hunger and malnutrition are top German priorities

Germany spent US$1 billion on ODA to agriculture and rural development in 2015, making it the third-largest government donor. This corresponds to 5% of its total ODA, which is just below the Development Assistance Committee (DAC) average of 6%. The Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) announced that it will significantly increase agriculture-related funding to over €1.5 billion (US$1.7 billion) annually. To implement part of this pledge, Minister Müller launched ‘One World  No Hunger’, a special initiative on food and nutrition security. BMZ plans to spend €220 million (US$244 million) in 2017 through this initiative. The initiative builds on Germany’s existing development cooperation engagement. BMZ has identified the following key areas for the initiative: food and nutrition security, famine prevention and resilience-building, innovation in the agricultural and food sectors, structural transformation in rural areas, natural resource protection, and secure access to land. The special initiative is being implemented through official and non-governmental development cooperation, as well as through multilateral partners. Funding from the special initiative is channeled bilaterally and through multilateral organizations.


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Support to smallholder farmers is a strategic priority, and Germany places a special focus on women in this context. This support aims to make agriculture more productive, sustainable, and to improve adaptation to climate change, fostering innovation along the whole agricultural value chain. Small-scale farmers are being supported to move from subsistence farming to producing a marketable surplus. Fair and secure tenure and land use rights, and resilience against famine are other focus areas of the initiative. This approach is reiterated in the ‘Marshall Plan with Africa’ developed under Development Minister Gerd Müller

In 2015, Germany channeled US$287 million (28%) of its total agriculture ODA multilaterally, which is below the DAC average of 45%. Germany disbursed it multilateral funding mainly as mandatory (‘assessed’) contributions to the EU, and the African Development Fund (AfDF). In addition, Germany supports the Global Agriculture and Food Security Program (GAFSP; €20 million or US$22 million in 2015), the Consortium of International Agricultural Research Centers (CGIAR; €20 million or US$22 million), and the Global Crop Diversity Trust (€25 million or US$27 million). However, contributions to those organizations are included in Germany’s bilateral ODA to agriculture as the OECD does not consider these to be core contributions to multilateral organizations working on agriculture.

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In 2015, Germany provided US$736 million (72% of its total agriculture ODA) as bilateral agriculture ODA. Support focused on agricultural policy and administrative management (27%), rural development (17%), and agricultural water resources (17%). Rural development and food and nutrition security are currently priority sectors of German bilateral cooperation in 13 countries (see box).

Germany's Priority countries for rural development and food and nutrition security:

  • Benin
  • Bolivia
  • Burkina Faso
  • Cambodia
  • Côte d’Ivoire
  • Democratic Republic of the Congo
  • Ethiopia
  • Ghana
  • Kenya
  • Laos
  • Niger
  • South Sudan
  • Togo

BMZ is responsible for agriculture and special initiative ‘One World, No Hunger’

BMZ leads on developing strategies for development cooperation policies. Within BMZ, the directorate on ‘Food, Agriculture, Rural Development’ is responsible for developing strategies on agriculture. The directorate evolved from the special unit ‘One World -No Hunger’ in the spring of 2016. The head of the directorate (as of September 2016), Stefan Schmitz, is at the same time the commissioner for this special initiative.