After steady increases since 2013, ODA to agriculture decreased in 2015

In 2015, ODA for agriculture and rural development stood at US$700 million. This represents 6% of France’s total ODA, just below what countries of the Development Assistance Committee of the OECD (DAC) each spend, on average, on this sector (7%). In the framework of France’s increasing focus on climate-related programs, and more specifically of its climate adaptation agenda, ODA to the agriculture sector is likely to increase in coming years.

Sub-Saharan Africa is France’s geographic priority in agriculture ODA, with a particular focus on West Africa. France’s support to agriculture has three main goals: 1) support the economic integration of rural territories, 2) provide assistance in the development and implementation of public policies, and 3) allow for the development of a sustainable, productive, and profitable agriculture.

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Core contributions to multilaterals within agriculture represented 49% of France’s total ODA to the sector, or US$344 million in 2015, above the DAC average of 45%. Multilateral funding is largely made up of assessed contributions to the EU (a quarter of France’s total ODA to agriculture and rural development) and the World Bank’s International Development Association (IDA; 15%).

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Bilateral ODA accounted for 51% (US$356 million) of France’s total funding for agriculture and rural development in 2015, down from US$739 million in 2014. Within its bilateral assistance, France places a focus on agricultural research (in 2015, it spent 37% of its bilateral ODA to agriculture on this area). France provides substantial R&D funding to French research organizations, including the French National Institute for Agricultural Research (INRA), the largest agricultural research institute in Europe (2015 budget: €882 million) and the French Agricultural Research Centre for International Development (CIRAD, €200 million in 2015). The focus on research on development-related issues within these institutes is likely to increase in coming years, as the conclusion of the Interministerial Committee for International Cooperation and Development (CICID) has set the sector as a strategic priority for French research on an international level. In addition, France provides funding to the Consortium of International Agricultural Research Centers (CGIAR), amounting to around US$2-3 million per year. France also hosts the CGIAR Consortium Headquarters in Montpellier.

Other priorities of French bilateral assistance are rural development (21% of total agricultural ODA) and agricultural development (13%).

The MAE’s sub-directorate for human development leads on agriculture

The MAE develops the strategies for French development policy, including on agriculture. Within the MAE, strategic priorities are defined within the Directorate-General for Globalization, Culture, Education and International Development (DGM); the most relevant sub-department is the ‘Sub-directorate for Human Development’ (HUMA). Further strategic priorities are spelled out in the AFD’s sectorial documents: with regard to agriculture, the most relevant AFD department is ‘Agriculture, rural development and biodiversity’, within the ‘sustainable development’ division.