Germany - Agriculture
At a glance
Fighting hunger and malnutrition are top German priorities; Germany is the second-largest government donor to agriculture
Germany spent US$1.3 billion in official development assistance (ODA) to agriculture in 2016 (the latest year for which multilateral and bilateral OECD data is available), making it the second-largest government donor within the Organisation for Economic Co-Operation and Development (OECD) Development Assistance Committee (DAC). This corresponds to 5% of its total ODA, which is below the DAC average of 7%, and ranks Germany 26th in relative terms. 33% was channeled to multilaterals and 67% were provided bilaterally. Germany’s funding to the agriculture has increased since 2014.
Between 2016 and 2018, Germany’s bilateral agriculture ODA grew by 2% from steadily from US$877 million in 2016 to US$893 million in 2018. Germany’s overall bilateral development financing focuses on Asia, the Middle East, and North Africa, with agriculture funding specifically focused on sub-Saharan Africa. The largest share of bilateral agriculture investments in 2018 were in agricultural development (26%), rural development (21%), and forestry development (8%).
In recent years, Germany has contributed to the Consortium of International Agricultural Research Centers (CGIAR; €35 million or US$41 million in 2020) and the Global Agriculture and Food Security Program (GAFSP; €100 million or US$118 million in 2020). At GAFSP’s 2020-2025 replenishment kick-off in October 2020, which was hosted by the BMZ, Germany pledged €200 million (US$236 million) to GAFSP’s overall replenishment target of US$1.5 billion over five years. Even though CGIAR and GAFSP are multilateral organizations, this funding is included in Germany’s bilateral ODA to agriculture since the OECD does not consider these to be core contributions to multilateral organizations working on agriculture.
Agriculture is one of the strategic priorities of Development Minister, Gerd Müller, who in 2014 launched ‘One World No Hunger’, a Special Initiative on food and nutrition security as well as rural development. The Special Initiative is carried forward under the current legislative period (2017 to 2021). The initiative focuses on the following priorities: 1) food and nutrition security, 2) famine prevention and resilience-building, 3) innovation in the agricultural and food sectors, 4) structural transformation in rural areas, 5) natural resource protection, and 6) secure access to land. The Special Initiative is being implemented through official and non-governmental development cooperation, as well as through multilateral partners. According to BMZ’s latest reform program (launched in May 2020), ‘One World – No Hunger’ is one of BMZ’s five key thematic priorities, which should last beyond legislative periods.
Support to smallholder farmers is a strategic priority, and Germany places a special focus on women in this context. This support aims to make agriculture more productive and sustainable, and to improve adaptation to climate change, fostering innovation along the agricultural value chain. Small-scale farmers are being supported to move from subsistence farming to producing a marketable surplus. Fair and secure tenure and land-use rights, as well as resilience against famine, are other focus areas of the initiative. This approach is reiterated in the ‘Marshall Plan with Africa’ developed under Development Minister Müller. In May 2019, Müller hosted a meeting of the Global Commission on Adaptation, where he pledged to support 60 million smallholder farmers, especially in sub-Saharan Africa, to become climate-resilient by 2030.
BMZ is responsible for agriculture policy broadly, including Special Initiative ‘One World - No Hunger’; the BMEL represents Germany at FAO
BMZ leads on developing strategies for development cooperation policies. It works closely with the Federal Ministry for Food and Agriculture (BMEL), which represents Germany at the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) and drives cooperation with the organization (BMZ leads on the relationship with WFP and IFAD). Within BMZ, the directorate on ‘Food, Rural Development; Natural Resources’ is responsible for developing strategies on agriculture. The directorate evolved from the special unit ‘One World - No Hunger’ in the spring of 2016. The head of the directorate is at the same time the commissioner for this Special Initiative.