United Kingdom - Agriculture

The UK supports economic growth and poverty reduction through agriculture and agro-industry

The UK spent US$971 million or 5% of its total ODA on agriculture in 2019. This makes the UK the fourth-largest contributor to the agricultural sector in absolute terms. As a share of total ODA, the UK puts less emphasis on agriculture than other DAC donors. It spent 5% of its total ODA on agriculture in 2019 (DAC average: 7%), making The UK is only the 26th-largest contributor to the agriculture sector in relative terms. The UK’s prioritization of agriculture as a share of total ODA has fallen marginally over the last five years, from 6% in 2015 to 5% in 2019.

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US$546 million or 56% of the UK’s ODA for agriculture is disbursed through bilateral channels including as earmarked funding through multilaterals, above the DAC average of 53%. Bilateral funding to agriculture fluctuated in the last years from its peak of US$663 million or 61% share of total ODA to agriculture in 2015 to its lowest point of US$489 million or 45% share of total ODA to agriculture in 2018. The UK focuses its bilateral agricultural funding on agricultural development (35%) and agricultural research (21%). Bilateral funding to agriculture fluctuated in size and share of ODA from 2015 to 2019.

Core contributions to multilaterals in 2019 account for US$425 million or 44% of the UK’s ODA to agriculture, slightly below the DAC average of 47%. The largest recipients of the UK’s multilateral financing to agriculture were the EU institutions (EUI; US$230 million), the International Development Association (IDA; US$146 million), followed by the African Development Fund (ADF; US$30 million). Funding for IDA declined in 2019, resulting in an overall drop in agricultural-related contributions to multilaterals compared to 2018.

The 2021 Integrated Review of UK Security, Defence, Foreign Policy and Development addresses agriculture through the lens of climate change and biodiversity approach, one of the UK’s international priorities. The government seeks to support sustainable and legal use of natural resources and regenerative ecosystems. As part of its COP26 Presidency, the UK in collaboration with the Tropical Forest Alliance will launch the Forest, Agriculture and Commodity Trade Dialogue to promote trade and development while protecting forests. Agriculture is also mentioned as one of the thematic areas under the UK’s research and development policy priority.

The FCDO is responsible for determining the UK’s agricultural development agenda

The Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO) sets the strategic direction for the UK’s agriculture development agenda and is responsible for administering the UK’s agricultural ODA. Agriculture ODA is managed by the FCDO’s Director-General of the Indo-Pacific region who is also responsible for economic development and under the Director-General for Africa. Finally, agricultural research ODA is managed by the FCDO’s Research and Evidence Division in coordination with the two teams above.