Issue Deep Dive


Last updated: December 21, 2022

ODA Spending

ODA In Context

The UK was the fifth-largest OECD DAC donor country to agriculture that year, representing 5% of the UK’s GNI. (DAC average: 6%)

Going forward, the UK is likely to support agriculture but increasingly as part of its work on tackling climate change and protecting biodiversity. The UK's 2021 Integrated Review of Security, Defence, Development and Foreign Policy, identifies climate change and biodiversity as the UK’s number one international priority moving forward. Agriculture is mentioned with regard to adaptation and ensuring the sustainability of natural resources.

ODA Breakdown

Bilateral Spending

In 2020, US$407 million, or 45%, of the UK’s ODA for agriculture was disbursed through bilateral channels including as earmarked funding through multilaterals, below the DAC average of 53%. The volume of overall ODA to agriculture declined steeply between 2019 and 2020 as a result of a reduced overall ODA budget. Bilateral funding to agriculture fluctuated in the last five years from its peak of US$615 million or 54% share of total ODA to agriculture in 2017 to its lowest point of US$407 million or 45% share of total ODA to agriculture in 2020. The UK focuses its bilateral agricultural funding on ‘agricultural research’ (27%), as well as ‘forestry policy and administrative management’ and ‘agricultural development’ (both at 23%).

Multilateral Spending and Commitments

Core contributions to multilaterals in 2020 accounted for roughly half of the UK’s ODA to agriculture. Funding to GCF jumped dramatically given the UK’s announcement of a £1.4 billion (US$1.8 billion) pledge to the fund from 2020-2024, so this funding will remain consistent over the next few years. Funding for EU institutions and the IDA declined in 2020, but the large jump in funding to GCF helped to increase multilateral ODA by 9% from 2019.

Funding & Policy Outlook

Agriculture is not a primary sector, but largely falls under climate ODA: The FCDO’s FY2021/22 spending on climate and biodiversity is set at £534 million (US$685 million), or 7% of total UK ODA, with climate-related activities across all sectors totaling upwards of £941 million (US$1.2 billion) in the same year. At COP27, the UK announced £200 million (US$256 million) for the AfDB’s’ Action Window,’ a new mechanism set up to help vulnerable countries with climate adaptation, and £95 million (US$109 million) in investment in Nigeria to support the development of climate-resilient agriculture programs. The UK also used its Presidency of the COP26 in 2021 to announce US$20 million (US$26 million) to The Adaptation Fund, and £39 million (US$47 million) over a two-year period to CGIAR at COP26. UK funding to CGIAR represents a significant reduction in funding from previous commitments by nearly 50%, reflecting ODA budget pressures. The UK also launched a the Gilber Initiative in 2021 to develop climate-resilient food systems through research and innovation.

Tracking Commitments at COP27

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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Adam Jennison

Adam Jennison

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