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

The Commission spent US$1.2 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 8% of total ODA.  Virtually all agricultural ODA is channeled bilaterally (US$1.2 billion of ODA to agriculture).

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 US$1.9 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 this sector. 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.

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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$188,000 as multilateral aid in 2015.  In addition, the Commission co-finances different programs that are reported as bilateral ODA, as they are earmarked for particular regions. In 2015, US$113 million went to the FAO via bilateral ODA, US$288 million went to the World Food Programme (WFP), and US$57 million went to the International Food and Agricultural Development Fund (IFAD).

Agricultural research amounted to US$39 million in 2014. The EU provides funding for the Consultative Group for International Agricultural Research (CGIAR). The Commission’s contributions to the Consortium of International Agricultural Research Centres have declined under the new multiannual financial framework (MFF). The latest commitment – financed from the GPGC’s envelope for food security and sustainable agriculture – includes only US$6 million per year for 2015 to 2019. 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’.