Japan - Agriculture
At a glance
Japan is the third-largest funder of ODA to agriculture
Japan’s total ODA for agriculture (including forestry and fishing) and rural development was US$1.1 billion in 2016 (the latest year for which multilateral and bilateral data is available; in 2018 prices), 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 15% increase compared to 2015 when Japan spent US$947 million of its ODA on this sector. Funding for agriculture and rural development represented 7% of Japan’s total ODA in 2016, a share that is on par with the DAC average.
Multilateral ODA to agriculture stood at US$264 million in 2016 (the latest year for which multilateral data is available). This was 24% of total agriculture ODA. The main recipient was the World Bank’s International Development Association (IDA): Assessed contributions to IDA made up 73% of Japan’s multilateral ODA to agriculture (US$192 million or 18% of total agriculture ODA). Other recipients included regional development banks, as well as the Asian Development Bank and the Global Environment Facility. 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.
Japan’s bilateral agriculture ODA amounted to US$629 million in 2018, a drop of 24% from 2017 and 2016 levels, although relatively similar compared to 2015 and 2016 levels. Agricultural water resources receive the largest share of funding (25% in 2018), followed by rural development (12%), agricultural financial services (10%), and forestry policy, and administrative management (6%).
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 places an emphasis on 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 4 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 will likely continue as CARD enters its second phase of programming (2019-2030).
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 Takahiro Hanada, 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 implementation of agriculture development activities.