EU - Agriculture
At a glance
EUI are the second-largest donor to agriculture in absolute terms
In 2020, the EUI spent US$1.2 billion of their ODA on agriculture, which accounted for 5% of total ODA (DAC average: 6%). This makes the European Union Institutions (EUI; which indicates financing from both the European Commission (EC) and the European Investment Bank (EIB)) the second-largest donor to agriculture, in absolute terms. The EUI’s ODA to the sector peaked in 2016 (US$1.8 billion) but has been declining since Between 2017 and 2019, the EUI’s funding for agriculture remained between US$1.3 billion and US$1.4 billion.
In 2020, all the EUI’s agricultural ODA was channeled as bilateral funding including both funding channeled bilaterally (82%) as well as funding channeled as earmarked funding through multilaterals (18%), which is reported as bilateral ODA. Funding was channeled to agriculture development (24%), agricultural policy and administrative management (22%), rural development (18%), and forestry development (7%)
The EUI support multiple thematic programs and multilateral initiatives that contribute to the agricultural sector:
In 2017, under the European Investment Plan (EIP), the European Fund for Sustainable Development (EFSD;the EU’s blended finance facility) started the implementation of programs aimed at mobilizing investment in countries in Africa and the EU neighbourhood. One of the five investment windows supported under this program was ‘Sustainable Agriculture, Rural Entrepreneurs, and Agroindustry’. In the same year, the EUI launched the Agriculture Financing Initiative ‘AgriFI’ for supporting investments in agri-business projects in low- and middle-income countries.
In 2018, the EUI launched the Development Smart Innovation through Research in Agriculture ‘DeSIRA’ initiative, aimed at supporting climate-relevant adaptation and sustainable transformation of agriculture and food systems in partner countries with the commitment to spend €270 million (US$308 million) between 2018-2020. In February 2019, the EUI provided €45 million (US$51 million) through the EFSD for the Agri-Business Capital ‘ABC’ Fund, established for improving access to finance to smallholders and farmers' organizations.
In May 2020, as a part of the ‘European Green Deal’, the European Commission released its proposal for a ‘Farm to Fork’ strategy, which includes an international component with an emphasis on countries in Africa and research cooperation.
The EUI have consistently committed funding for the multilateral agricultural research network, CGIAR, including €32 million (US$36 million) for 2020-2021. In September 2021, the European Commission announced a new commitment of €140 million (US$160 million) to CGIAR across the 2021-2027 EU long-term budget. The funding will come from the Global Challenges budget line in NDICI-Global Europe.
Under the 2021-2027 MFF, the geographic envelopes will likely continue to be the main sources of funding for agriculture. In NDICI - Global Europe, food security is also mentioned as a subset of issues to be addressed in the Global Challenges – Planet thematic program.
DG INTPA’s Directorate F ‘Green Deal, Digital Agenda’ leads the EU’s policy for agricultural ODA
Within the European Commission’s Directorate-General for International Partnerships (DG INTPA; formerly the Directorate-General for Development Cooperation or DG DEVCO), the Directorate F ‘Green Deal, Digital Agenda’ oversees policies related to agriculture ODA. Two relevant units in this regard are Unit F.3 for ‘Sustainable Agri-Food Systems and Fisheries’, and Unit F.2 for ‘Environment, Sustainable Natural Resources’.