ODA to agriculture has decreased since 2014
In 2016, ODA for agriculture and rural development stood at US$694 million. This represented 6% of France’s total ODA, just below what donor countries of the Organisation for Economic Co-Operation and Development (OECD) each spend on average in this sector (7%). In the framework of France’s focus on climate-related programs, and more specifically of its climate-adaptation agenda, ODA to the agriculture sector is likely to increase in coming years, especially in the area of climate-smart agriculture.
Sub-Saharan Africa is France’s geographic priority, with a particular focus on West Africa. France’s support to agriculture has three main goals: 1) support the economic integration of rural territories, 2) provide assistance in the development and implementation of public policies, and 3) allow for the development of a sustainable, productive, and profitable agriculture. According to the latest Interministerial Committee for International Cooperation and Development (CICID), these goals will be achieved by focusing on nutrition and agro-ecology, as well as pursuing a territorial approach of agricultural supply chains.
Core contributions to multilaterals represented 45% of France’s total ODA to the sector in 2016 (US$313 million), on par with the DAC average. This mainly comprises assessed contributions to the EU (30% of France’s total ODA to agriculture and rural development), and to the World Bank’s International Development Association (IDA; 7%). According to the February 2018 CICID, France will reinforce its financial support to the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD), the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), and the World Food Program (WFP) through its operations in the Sahel and Horn of Africa regions.
Bilateral ODA for agriculture and rural development (55% of total agriculture ODA in 2016), increased by 7% between 2015 and 2016, reaching US$381 million. Within its bilateral assistance, France places a focus on agricultural research (37% of bilateral ODA in 2016). France provides substantial R&D funding to French research organizations, including the French National Institute for Agricultural Research (INRA), the largest agricultural research institute in Europe (2016 budget: €852 million, or US$947 million) and the French Agricultural Research Centre for International Development (CIRAD, €200 million in 2016, or US$221 million). The focus on research on development-related issues within these institutes is likely to increase in the coming years. In addition, France hosts the Consortium of International Agricultural Research Centers (CGIAR) in Montpellier and provides funding (around €2-3 million a year).
The MAE’s sub-directorate for human development leads on agriculture
The MAE develops the strategies for French development policy, including on agriculture. Within the MAE, strategic priorities are defined within the Directorate-General for Globalization, Culture, Education and International Development (DGM); the most relevant sub-department is the ‘Sub-directorate for Human Development’ (HUMA). Further strategic priorities are spelled out in the AFD’s sectorial documents: with regard to agriculture, the most relevant AFD department is ‘Agriculture, rural development and biodiversity’, which is part of the ‘sustainable development’ division.