Policy Context

Norway follows a rights-based approach to agricultural development through its prioritization of increasing smallholder participation in decision-making, building resilience, and enhancing productivity, particularly through support to women.

Drawing on its expertise with marine resources, Norway is one of few countries that focus on fisheries, which fall under the scope of agriculture ODA, according to OECD reporting standards. In 2016, the government launched a program called ‘Fish for Development’ to reduce poverty by promoting food security, sustainable fisheries management, and more profitable business models. In 2024, the program’s budget stood at US$37 million. It is also expected that some funding from the Nansen program will be allocated to Fish for Development in 2024.

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 in partner countries and regions vulnerable to famine, especially in SSA. The plan has four thematic areas:

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

In November 2022, the government launched a new strategy on food security, Gathering power against famine - a policy for increasing self-sufficiency. The strategy aims to increase local and national food security through investments in small-scale food producers, their value chains, and climate-robust development. In February 2023, the government also launched a strategy for Climate change adaptation, disaster risk reduction, and the fight against hunger. The strategy set 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 functioning value chains and markets that support small and medium-sized businesses;
  • Reduced malnourishment through improved access to healthy, varied, and safe food as well as clean water; and
  • Reduced scope of food-related crises through prevention as well as rapid, comprehensive efforts.

In September 2023, the Norwegian Minister of International Development and the USAID Administrator launched Financing for Agricultural SMEs in Africa, a multi-donor fund designed to mobilize private capital for the agricultural sector in Africa. The fund plays a crucial role in reducing risk for private investors and promoting self-sufficiency, reducing import dependence for African partner countries.

ODA Spending

How much ODA does Norway allocate to agriculture?

How is Norwegian agricultural ODA changing?

Although agriculture is not one of Norway’s historical development priorities, a separate budget line for agriculture, fish, and food security totaling US$187 million in 2024 reflects the government’s commitment to agriculture. Climate-smart agriculture and food security are prioritized in this budget line, following Norway’s strong focus on environmental issues.

How does Norway allocate agricultural ODA?

Bilateral Spending

In 2022, Norway disbursed US$204 million, or 72% of its agriculture ODA, bilaterally. Of this amount, 43% was channeled as earmarked funding through multilaterals.

Multilateral Spending & Commitments

In addition to bilateral funding, Norway collaborates with multilateral organizations in the agricultural sector. In 2022, core multilateral contributions for agriculture and rural development made up 28% 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 funding through multilaterals.

Key bodies

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Lauren Ashmore

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