South Korea spent 8% of total ODA on agriculture in 2021. It was the 10th-largest DAC donor in absolute terms and the fourth-largest in relative terms.
Total ODA to agriculture increased significantly in 2021, and eclipsed pre-COVID-19 levels after a decrease in 2020 due to the global pandemic.
76% of South Korea’s ODA to agriculture was channelled bilaterally in 2021, significantly above the DAC average of 51% and in line with South Korea’s priorities, including 19% as earmarked funding through multilaterals.
In line with its development strategy and other sectors, South Korea favors bilateral ODA in agricultural development spending.
Compared to other DAC donors, South Korea spends very little on core contributions to multilateral organizations.
The table below summarizes South Korea’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.
KOICA, South Korea’s implementing agency, identified ‘inclusive and sustainable rural development’ as one of three priority sectors in its Agriculture and Rural Development Mid-Term Strategy 2021-2025.
Other priorities include expanding market access for sustainable production, promoting resilience to climate change in rural production systems and natural resources, and scaling of innovative information and communication technology, high-tech systems, and machinery in ‘smart farms.’ The 2022 Annual Implementation Plan emphasizes smart farms, or using modern ICT to increase the quantity and quality of agricultural products to optimize output from human labor, in its development approach.
Partner countries in the Mekong Region as part of the New Southern Policy are the primary regional focus for ODA funding for smart farming.
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