Issue Deep Dive
Last updated: December 6, 2022
ODA In Context
Australia was the 14th-largest DAC donor to agriculture in 2020.
Australia’s prioritization of agriculture within its broader development program in 2020 was around the average for DAC donors in that year (6% of ODA).
Australia’s prioritization of agriculture has been steady in recent years, though in line with overall cuts to its ODA budget, spending in the sector has decreased.
Again, in line with its overall ODA, Australia channeled most of its ODA for agriculture projects bilaterally, including a small share as earmarked funding through multilaterals.
R&D to improve agricultural productivity and to better understand challenges faced by partner countries are important priorities in Australia’s ODA for agriculture. As such, agricultural research received 45% of bilateral agriculture ODA in 2020, funded through ACIAR. DFAT and ACIAR also work closely with the multilateral agricultural research network, CGIAR and the on agricultural research in partner countries.
Some of Australia’s bilateral funding is channeled through multilaterals as earmarked funding (US$41 million in 2020), such as Australia’s contributions to the multilateral agricultural research network, CGIAR (US$17 million in 2022) and GAFSP (US$104 million pledged for 2010-2024).
Multilateral Spending and Commitments
Compared to other DAC donors, Australia spends very little on core contributions to multilateral organizations.
The table on slide two below summarizes Australia’s more recent commitments to multilaterals working on agricultural development. Some of these commitments are considered core funding to multilaterals while others will be earmarked (bilateral) funding from Australia.
Funding & Policy Outlook
Agriculture is not a sector of primary concern: It is not highlighted in Australia’s 2020 development policy, ‘Partnerships for Recovery: Australia’s COVID-19 Development Response’; however, the government still sees agriculture as an important component of partner countries’ recovery from the COVID-19 crisis and resilience to future crises. Australia supports its partners with knowledge-sharing around agricultural innovation, tackling biosecurity threats, and establishing market-oriented economic, trade, and agricultural policies.
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