Food security is a top priority, within larger framework of gender-inclusive climate change mitigation and women's economic empowerment
Canadian official development assistance (ODA) to agriculture (including forestry and fishing) and rural development stood at US$292 million in 2016 (latest year for which complete data is available). This represented 7% of its total ODA, a share on par with the Development Assistance Committee (DAC) average. According to data from the Organization for Economic Co-Operation and Development (OECD), ODA funding for agriculture has been slightly increasing since 2015 (+12% between 2014 and 2016, an increase of US$30 million in absolute amounts).
Under Canada’s Feminist International Assistance Policy (FIAP), food security is no longer a thematic priority of Canadian development assistance. Instead, Canada views food security and agriculture within the larger lens of women’s economic empowerment and gender-inclusive climate change mitigation. In addition, Canada plans to integrate its food security policies into a more comprehensive approach for stimulating clean and sustainable economic growth.
In June 2019, Canada made two notable agriculture-related investments: Its development finance institution, FinDev, loaned US$8 million to a leading Peruvian agricultural producer to promote a more sustainable and inclusive agribusiness sector in Peru, while its International Development Research Centre (IDRC) announced CAD21 million (US$16 million) in funding for research to fight antimicrobial resistance in livestock and aquaculture production, particularly in low and middle-income countries. Canada is also the second-largest contributor to the Global Agriculture and Food Security Program (GAFSP) after the US, having provided US$202 million as of December 2017.
In 2016, multilateral ODA made up 33% (US$97 million) of Canada’s total ODA to agriculture and rural development. However, a large share of funding was disbursed as earmarked funding through multilateral (18% of total agriculture ODA). This has meant that in total, half (51%) of ODA to these sectors was channeled through multilaterals. Top recipients were the World Bank’s International Development Association (IDA, 15% of total agriculture ODA), followed by the UN’s International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD, 9%), and the African Development Fund (3%).
Canada plans to integrate its food security policies into a more comprehensive approach for stimulating clean and sustainable economic growth.
Bilateral assistance for agriculture and rural development stood at US$194 million in 2016. US$52 million of this was earmarked for multilaterals. In 2017 (latest year for which bilateral data is available), funding went down to US$158 million, largely driven by a drop in agricultural research. Key investment areas in 2017 were agricultural development (16%), food crop production (11%), agricultural education/training (8%).
Several GAC branches are involved in decision-making on agriculture
Under the leadership of the prime minister, Global Affairs Canada (GAC) steers development policy, including for agriculture. Within GAC, key branches for agriculture-related programs are the GAC’s four geographic branches (Americas; Asia Pacific; Europe, Middle East and Maghreb; and sub-Saharan Africa), which manage bilateral country programs. In addition, the Food Security and Environment Branch and the Economic Development Branches are key players in the development of Canada’s agriculture-related strategies and policies. Moreover, the Global Issues and Development Branch manages relations with multilateral agricultural initiatives.
Apart from GAC, an important player is Canada’s International Development Research Centre (IDRC). GAC and the IDRC jointly fund the Canadian International Food Security Research Fund, which supports research partnerships between organizations from Canada and developing countries. The IDRC also runs an Agriculture and Food Security program that supports innovation for more efficient and sustainable agricultural production to enhance food security, incomes, and nutrition that benefit small-scale farmers (particularly women).