Issue Deep Dive
Last updated: January 10, 2023
ODA In Context
South Korea spent 6% of total ODA on agriculture in 2020. It was the 15th-largest DAC donor in absolute terms and the 14th-largest in relative terms.
78% of South Korea’s ODA to agriculture was channeled bilaterally in 2020 (significantly above the DAC average of 53% and in line with South Korea’s priorities), including 19% as earmarked funding to multilateral organizations.
Multilateral Spending and Commitments
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 (bilateral) funding from South Korea.
Total ODA to agriculture decreased by 26% from US$210 million in 2019 to US$155 million in 2020. The decrease in total ODA to agriculture is likely a result of South Korea’s prioritization of ODA to global health in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic, similar to 2020 other sectoral ODA allocations.
Funding & Policy Outlook
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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