Issue Deep Dive: Germany/Agriculture

Last updated: January 2, 2023

ODA Spending

ODA In Context

Germany was the largest DAC donor to agriculture initiatives in 2020.

Despite being the largest donor in absolute terms, Germany’s relative prioritization of agriculture in 2020 was on average for DAC donors in that year (6% of ODA), ranking 22nd among donors.

Germany’s funding to agriculture has increased by 38% since 2016, especially between 2019 and 2020, when it increased by 29%. The increase was driven by an increase in earmarked funding through multilaterals from US$133 million in 2019 to US$394 million in 2020. In line with its prioritization of bilateral funding (including earmarked funding through multilaterals), Germany channeled only 25% of its agriculture ODA in 2020 as core funding to multilaterals, which is below the DAC average of 47%.

ODA Breakdown

Bilateral Spending

Bilateral channels are Germany’s preferred funding mechanism for this sector. Within its ‘special initiative’ ‘ONE WORLD – No hunger,’ the BMZ focuses on global food security and enhancing agricultural resilience, as well as rural development. Accordingly, the largest shares of bilateral funding in 2020 went to agricultural development and rural development.

Multilateral Spending and Commitments

Most of Germany’s ODA to agriculture that was channeled as core funding to multilaterals in 2020 was provided to the EU institutions (15%). By a wide margin, the second-largest recipient is the IDA (4%), followed by the ADF (1%).

In addition, Germany supports CGIAR and GAFSP. While these are multilateral organizations, the funding is included in Germany’s earmarked bilateral ODA due to OECD classifications. In October 2020, the BMZ hosted GAFSP’s 2020-2025 replenishment kick-off and pledged €200 million (US$228 million). On the sidelines of the World Bank Annual Meeting in Washington in October 2022, Germany announced that it will increase contributions to GAFSP by €60 million (US$68 million) to GAFSP in 2022.

The table below summarizes Germany’s 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 Germany.

Funding and Policy Outlook

Prioritizing food and nutrition security, rural development: Agriculture was one of the strategic priorities of former Development Minister Gerd Müller, who in 2014 launched ‘ONE WORLD - No Hunger’. The program is a ‘Special Initiative’ on food and nutrition security and rural development, which will be carried forward in this legislative term (2021-2025) under Development Minister Svenja Schulze and is now titled ‘Transformation of agricultural and food systems’. The ‘Special Initiative’ is being implemented through official and non-governmental development cooperation, as well as through multilateral partners. ‘Life without hunger – transformation of agricultural and food systems’ is also one of the six core themes within the BMZ’s ‘Agenda 2030 thematic model’.

The core theme focuses on the following priorities:

  • Food and nutrition security;
  • Rural development; and
  • Sustainable agriculture value chains and food systems.

Supporting smallholder farmers: Support for smallholder farmers is a strategic priority, and Germany prioritizes women in this context. This support aims to increase agricultural sustainability and productivity and to improve adaptation to climate change. Within this strategic priority, Germany hopes to foster innovation along the agricultural value chain with a focus on fair and secure tenure and land-use rights. Additionally, Germany prioritizes resilience against famine, by incentivizing small-scale farmers shift from subsistence farming to producing marketable surplus.

Due to the impact of the war in Ukraine on food security, the issue has started to receive more attention from the BMZ in the context of Germany’s G7 presidency. German development minister Svenja Schulze proposed a ‘Global Alliance for Food Security’ that can respond in an agile and coordinated way to the hunger crisis triggered by the Russian war in Ukraine at the IMF and World Bank Spring Meetings in Washington in April 2022. The alliance was launched on May 19, 2022, during the meeting of the G7 development ministers.

Key bodies

Kristin Laub

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