France - Agriculture

Bilateral ODA agriculture has increased since 2016

According to Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) data, France’s total ODA to agriculture and rural development in 2016 (the latest year for which multilateral and bilateral data is available) was US$753 million. This represented 6% of France’s total ODA, just below what members of the OECD Development Assistance Committee (DAC) spend on average in this sector (7%). 45% was channeled to multilaterals and 55% of funds were provided bilaterally. Against the backdrop of France’s focus on climate-related programs, and more specifically of its climate-adaptation agenda, ODA to the agriculture sector could increase in the coming years, driven by higher funding for adaptation.  

13 - France bi-multi AG ODA

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15 - AG ranking absolute - France

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16 - AG ranking relative - France

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According to France’s International Strategy for Food Security, Nutrition, and Sustainable Agriculture (2019-2024), France has five main goals:

  1. Strengthening global governance of food security and nutrition;
  2. Developing sustainable agricultural and food systems;
  3. Strengthening France’s action on nutrition;
  4. Supporting the structuring of sustainable agri-food chains to promote the creation of decent jobs in rural areas; and
  5. Enhancing food assistance for vulnerable populations and improving resilience.

According to the latest Interministerial Committee for International Cooperation and Development (CICID), these goals will be achieved by focusing on nutrition and agroecology, as well as pursuing a territorial approach of agricultural supply chains. Geographically, sub-Saharan Africa is France’s priority, with a focus on West Africa.

France prefers to channel its agriculture ODA bilaterally. Core contributions to multilaterals represented less than half (45%) of France’s total ODA to the sector in 2016 (US$339 million), on par with the DAC average and mainly comprising assessed contributions to the EU and to the World Bank’s International Development Association (IDA).

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. Investments such as these are considered by the government as contributing to the stabilization of the Sahel region. In 2018, France provided US$132 million to IFAD (a ten-fold increase from 2017), US$16 million to FAO (from US$15 million in 2017). It provided US$19 million to WFP in 2019.

Bilateral ODA for agriculture and rural development stood at US$630 million in 2018, remaining stable from 2017 after a 51%-increase between 2016 and 2017. Most of this funding went to rural development (53%), followed by agricultural research (24%), and agricultural development (10%).

France provides substantial R&D funding to French research organizations, including the new French National Institute for Agricultural, Food and Environment (INRAE), the result of the merger of INRA and IRSTEA (annual budget of €1.0 billion or US$1.2 billion) and the French Agricultural Research Centre for International Development (CIRAD, annual budget of €200 million, or US$236 million).

The MAE’s sub-directorate for human development leads on agriculture

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Development (MAE) develops all strategies for French development policy, including 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 French Development Agency’s (AFD’s) sectorial documents. Regarding agriculture, the most relevant AFD department is ‘Agriculture, Rural Development and Biodiversity’, which is part of the ‘Sustainable Development’ division.