Agriculture among top priorities for 2014 to 2020

The European Commission (Commission) spent US$1.7 billion on ODA for agriculture and rural development (including forestry and fishing) in 2016. This makes it the second-largest donor in absolute terms, closely following the United States. It corresponds to 9% of total ODA, higher than the 7% average amongst members of the OECD Development Assistance Committee (DAC). Virtually all agricultural ODA is channeled bilaterally. In 2016, the EU’s funding for agriculture significantly increased by almost 60% from 2015 levels: While in 2015, the sector received US$1.1 billion, in 2016 it received almost US$1.7 billion. This is largely due to increased disbursements to Nutrition for Growth, in an effort to meet the commitment of US$3.5 billion made for the current multiannual financing framework (MFF 2014-2020).

For further details on methodology, see our Donor Tracker Codebook.

Sustainable agriculture is highlighted as one of five key priorities for 2014 to 2020, and funding is therefore likely to remain stable in this area. The priority areas set out for 2014 to 2020 are small-holder agriculture, the formation of producer groups, supply and marketing chains, as well as government efforts to facilitate responsible private investment. The Commission allocated €1.4 billion of the Programme on Global Public Goods and Challenges (GPGC), funded through the Development Cooperation Instrument (DCI) for the period from 2014 to 2020, to the priority area ‘Food and Nutrition Security and Sustainable Agriculture’. In line with commitments at the 2014 Africa-EU Summit, the Pan-African Program under the Joint Africa-EU Strategy funds the Comprehensive Africa Agriculture Development Programme (CAADP).  

Missing content.

Bilateral funding to the sector focused on agricultural policy and administrative management (30% of bilateral ODA for agriculture in 2016, an increase by 57% compared to 2015), rural development (22%, doubling from 2015 levels), and agricultural development (16%, up by 54% compared to the previous year). Support to agricultural financial services increased considerably from US$17 million in 2015 to US$123 million in 2016 (now 7% of all bilateral ODA for agriculture).

The only organization receiving core multilateral contributions in 2016 was the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD), which received US$500,000. In addition, the Commission co-finances different programs of multilateral organizations that are reported as bilateral ODA, as they are earmarked for particular regions. In 2016, US$90 million went to the Food and Agricultural Organization (FAO), US$46 million to IFAD as bilateral agriculture ODA, and US$7 million went to the World Food Programme (WFP).

ODA-accountable funding for agricultural research amounted to US$43 million in 2016. The EU provides funding for the Consultative Group for International Agricultural Research (CGIAR), financed from the GPGC’s envelope for food security and sustainable agriculture. The Commission’s contributions to the Consortium of International Agricultural Research Centers have declined under the current MFF, dropping from US$31 million in 2014 to US$14 million in 2015, according to CGIAR. According to OECD data, the EU did not make a contribution to CGIAR in 2016. EU delegations in developing countries are likely to contribute additional funding directly to local CGIAR centers and bring overall contributions to a similar level as in previous years. In the past, the Commission has also directly supported the Committee on World Food Security (CFS) to support specific workstreams and activities.

DG DEVCO’s Directorate on Sustainable Growth and Development leads policy in agriculture ODA

Within the Commission’s Directorate-General for Development Cooperation (DG DEVCO), the Directorate ‘Sustainable Growth and Development’ is in charge of policies related to agriculture ODA. Two units are relevant: Unit C1, ‘Rural Development, Food Security and Nutrition’, and Unit C2, ‘Environment, Ecosystems, Biodiversity and Wildlife’.