Issue Deep Dive


Last updated: December 23, 2022

ODA Spending

ODA In Context

Norway was the 13th-largest DAC donor to agriculture in 2020.

Norway’s prioritization of agriculture within its broader development program in 2020 was lower than the average for DAC donors in that year (4% of ODA), making it 27th among donors, in relative terms.

Funding to agriculture ODA has been oscillating since 2016, between a low point of US$105 million in 2016 and a high of US$184 million in 2020.

Although agriculture is not historically one of Norway’s development priorities, in a December 2017 recommendation to the government, Norway’s Parliament highlighted the need to increase efforts toward food security and climate-smart agriculture. A separate budget line for agriculture, fish, and food security at NOK1.5 billion (US$154 million) in 2022 reflects the government’s efforts in this area. Climate-smart agriculture and food security are part of this budget line and represent a particularly important area, given Norway’s strong focus on environmental issues. Norway follows a rights-based approach; its support includes increasing smallholder participation in decision-making, building resilience, and enhancing productivity, particularly in support of women.

In November 2022, the government launched a new strategy on food security called “Gathering power against famine - a policy for increasing self-sufficiency." The overall aim of the strategy is to contribute to increased local and national food security through investments in small-scale food producers, their value chains and climate-robust development.

ODA Breakdown

Bilateral Spending

Norway disburses most of its agriculture funding bilaterally (US$123 million, or 67% in 2020, well above the DAC average of 53%). More than half of bilateral spending on agriculture (US$72 million) was channeled as earmarked funding to multilateral organizations (reported to the OECD DAC as bilateral funding). Top sectors of bilateral funding for agriculture in 2020 were agricultural development (33% of bilateral ODA to agriculture), fishery development (20%), and rural development (10%).

Multilateral Spending & Commitments

In addition to bilateral funding, Norway collaborates with multilateral organizations in the agricultural sector. In 2020, core multilateral contributions for agriculture and rural development made up 33% of total agriculture ODA.

The table on slide two below summarizes Norway’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 Norway.

Funding & Policy Outlook

Norway is building strategy around sustainable food systems: In June 2019, Norway’s MFA published an ‘Action plan for sustainable food production systems.’ Drawing on extensive consultations with academics and civil society, the plan takes a holistic approach to food production systems. Norway will prioritize its partner countries as well as regions vulnerable to famine and with poor access to nutritional food, especially in Sub-Saharan Africa. The plan has four thematic areas:

  • Food production
  • Value-creation and market
  • Nutrition and diet
  • Policies and governance.

Unique focus on fisheries: Drawing on its expertise with marine resources, Norway is one of very few countries that focuses on fisheries, falling under the scope of agriculture ODA, according to OECD reporting standards. In 2016, the government launched a program called ‘Fish for Development,’ as a way to reduce poverty by promoting food security, sustainable fisheries management, and more profitable business activities. In 2022, the program’s budget stood at NOK351 million (US$37 million).

Gathering power against famine - a policy for increasing self-sufficiency: On November 29, 2022, the government launched a new strategy on food security: ‘Gathering power against famine - a policy for increasing self-sufficiency.’ The overall aim of the strategy is to contribute to increased local and national food security through investments in small-scale food producers, their value chains and climate-robust development. The strategy lays out the following priorities:

  • Increased local, climate-robust food production through improved productivity and reduced production losses for small-scale food producers;
  • Improved local value creation and increased income for food producers through well-functioning value chains and markets that facilitate small and medium-sized businesses;
  • Reduced malnourishment through improved access to healthy, varied, and safe food and clean water; and
  • Reduced scope of food-related crises through prevention and rapid comprehensive efforts.

Key bodies

Related Publications

The 2023 Global Forum for Food and Agriculture

What’s next for transforming food systems?

Zero Hunger through Sound Agricultural Data

Adapting to climate change

Creating a sustainable future for agriculture

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Clara Brettfeld

Clara Brettfeld

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