Japan - Agriculture

Japan is the third-largest funder of ODA to agriculture

Japan’s total official development assistance (ODA) for agriculture (including forestry and fishing) and rural development was US$1.2 billion in 2020, making Japan the third-largest donor to the sector among members of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) Development Assistance Committee (DAC). This represents a 4% decrease compared to 2019 levels. Funding for agriculture and rural development represented 6% of Japan’s total ODA in 2020, in line with the DAC average of 6%.

Multilateral ODA to agriculture stood at US$306 million in 2020, representing 26% of total agricultural ODA. The main recipient was the World Bank’s International Development Association (IDA); assessed contributions to IDA made up 43% of Japan’s multilateral ODA to agriculture (US$130 million, or 11% of total agriculture ODA). Other recipients included the Green Climate Fund, the Asian Development Bank (ADB), and the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO). Japan joined the Global Agriculture and Food Security Program (GAFSP) in 2012 and pledged US$30 million to GAFSP’s private sector window. By the end of 2016, Japan had disbursed the full amount. No further pledges or disbursements have been made to GAFSP since that time.

Japan’s bilateral agricultural ODA amounted to US$892 million in 2020, an increase of 4% from 2019 levels. Agricultural financial services received the largest share of bilateral funding (24% in 2020), followed by agricultural water resources (22%), agricultural development (8%), fishery development (7%), and rural development (7%).

Japan mentions agriculture, forestry, and fisheries as part of its assistance towards “quality growth” in its development cooperation framework, the ‘Development Cooperation Charter.’ Most of the country’s bilateral ODA for agriculture and rural development is channeled through the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA). JICA focuses particularly on promoting sustainable agriculture production, stable food supply, and dynamic rural communities. Japan has historically supported small-scale farming and is likely to continue to do so.

Japan emphasizes agriculture in Africa and has included agriculture as a recurring theme of its Tokyo International Conference on African Development (TICAD). One notable output of this is the Coalition for African Rice Development (CARD) initiative, which was launched by JICA, the Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa (AGRA), and the New Partnership for African Development (NEPAD) following TICAD IV in 2008. Organized as a consultative group of bilateral and multilateral donors as well as African and international institutions, CARD works to double rice production in Africa. JICA implements numerous bilateral projects on the development of rice production capabilities with CARD participant countries. This focus is set to continue as CARD enters its second phase of programming (2019-2030).

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MOFA steers strategic orientation for agriculture ODA; JICA leads on implementation

Within the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Japan (MOFA), the Development Assistance Policy Coordination Division, led by Director Fumio Yamazaki, directs agriculture and rural development ODA strategy. Responsibility is shared by JICA's Food, Security, Agriculture, and Nutrition Division, led by Vice President Tadashi Sato, and relevant geographic departments, which lead on the implementation of agriculture development activities.