Agriculture is not a funding priority for the Netherlands, but is incorporated into different sectors
Agriculture and rural development are not among the four thematic priorities of Dutch development assistance. Within policymaking, agriculture is not seen as a single component, but rather as one intertwined with food security, water management, and climate protection. According to the Organisation for Economic Co-Operation and Development’s (OECD) data, official development assistance (ODA) to agriculture and rural development increased to US$435 million in 2016, from US$327 million in 2015. This represented 9% of total ODA, abovethe average among members of the OECD Development Assistance Committee (DAC) of 7%. Dutch ODA to agriculture has been steadily increasing since 2014, when it amounted to US$305 million. The current coalition government has committed to making agriculture a priority area in the field of poverty reduction.
In 2016 the Netherlands provided US$159 million of its funding to agriculture and rural development as multilateral ODA. This corresponds to 36% of total ODA to agriculture. These multilateral contributions were mainly in the form of assessed contributions to the International Development Association (IDA) of the World Bank, EU institutions, and funding to the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD).
The Netherlands started a strategic partnership with the Consortium of International Agricultural Research Centers (CGIAR) in 2015, focusing on food security, with specific attention to climate-smart agriculture, nutrition, water use, and biodiversity. In July 2017, the Netherlands announced a new commitment to CGIAR (US$72 for 2017-2019). In addition, a commitment of US$17 million was made for 2017-2021 to strengthen the partnership between the Netherlands and CGIAR. In 2017, CCAFS (CGIAR Research Program on Climate Change, Agriculture and Food Security) opened its headquarters at the Wageningen University in the Netherlands.
The main focus areas of bilateral agricultural ODA in 2016 (US$276 million) were agricultural development (25%), rural development (16%), agricultural research (11%), agricultural financial services (10%), and food crop production (9%).
It is still unclear if the core priorities of agriculture ODA will change under the new government, but a large degree of continuity is likely. In previous years, the priorities in this sector have been: 1) eliminating hunger and malnutrition, 2) stimulating inclusive and sustainable growth in the agricultural sector, and 3) realizing ecologically sustainable food systems. To achieve this, the Netherlands focuses on 1) increasing food production sustainability, 2) removing barriers to national, regional and world trade, 3) strengthening the role of the private sector, and 4) supporting research. The Netherlands intends to double the productivity and income of smallholder (female) farmers and build sustainable, climate-resilient food production systems by 2030. Coherence and synergies with related themes – such as private-sector development, water, and climate, as well as the broader Dutch policy related to development cooperation and trade – is considered key.
Funding for partners is channeled through the Strategic Partnerships Initiative (mostly for advocacy work) and the Facility for Sustainable Entrepreneurship and Food Security (FDOV), which is administered by the Netherlands Enterprise Agency (RVO). The facility aims at stimulating sustainable economic development through public-private partnerships. FDOV’s current budget stands at €113 million (US$125 million), numbering 46 ongoing projects in 28 countries.
The Directorate of Inclusive Green Growth (IGG) is responsible for policies related to food security
Within the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Directorate-General for International Cooperation (DGIS) is responsible for designing and coordinating the implementation of Dutch development policy. Within DGIS, the Department of Inclusive Green Growth (IGG) focuses on policies related to food security, climate, water, energy, natural resources, and the Arctic. IGG includes a specific thematic cluster on food security. The Sustainable Economic Development Department within DGIS supports farmer cooperatives in developing countries.
- Government of the Netherlands; Coalition Agreement 'Confidence in the Future'; 2017
- Government of the Netherlands; Investing in Global Prospects - For the World, For the Netherlands; 2018
- MFA; HGIS-nota 2019 Homogene Groep Internationale Samenwerking; 2018 (in Dutch)
- Ministry of Foreign Affairs; Public Private Partnership - The Dutch Diamond Approach; 2013 (in Dutch)
Civil society sources