Policy Context

In Canada’s FIAP, agriculture falls mainly under action areas ‘growth that works for everyone’ and ‘environment and climate action’. Agricultural R&D is primarily addressed through its climate change adaptation work. At the 2021 G7 Summit, Canada announced a doubling of its previous international climate finance commitment to CAD5.3 billion ( US$4 billion) over five years (2021-2026) and allocated a minimum of CAD2.1 billion ( US$1.6 billion) to climate adaptation projects. Two of the four focus areas identified within the climate finance commitment include an explicit focus on agricultural R&D:

  • Climate-Smart Agriculture and Food Systems: Canada works with developing countries to support smallholder farmers and food value-chain actors, especially women, to better adapt to climate change, and reduce their greenhouse gas emissions through improved access to and adoption of climate-smart agriculture and food system practices and solutions; and
  • Nature-Based Solutions and Biodiversity: Canada supports actions that protect, sustainably manage, and/or restore ecosystems to address climate change, while also generating biodiversity co-benefits.

Across this commitment, 80% of projects will integrate gender equality considerations, in line with the FIAP.

Canada channels its work in agricultural R&D through its two flagship strategies; Partnering for Climate initiative and Indo-Pacific Strategy. The areas in the strategies that are strongly linked to agricultural R&D include funding sustainable infrastructure, biodiversity protection and conservation, food security and agricultural technology, energy transitions, and climate finance.

The keywords that Canada often uses to describe agricultural R&D in its policy documents, strategies, and statements include “climate-smart” and “gender-sensitive agricultural approaches”, “climate-smart agriculture and food systems", and "nature-based solutions and biodiversity”.

How is Canada’s bilateral ODA to agricultural R&D evolving?

In 2021, bilateral ODA to agricultural R&D was estimated at US$50 million.

Funding Commitments

Canada’s recent top headline commitments to agricultural R&D

On May 29, 2023, Canadian Minister of International Development Harjit Sajjan concluded visits to Ethiopia, Egypt, and Chad, where he announced a total of CAD207 million ( US$154 million) in international and humanitarian assistance funding for Africa. The funding announced by Canada included:

  • CAD20 million ( US$15 million) for the International Center for Tropical Agriculture to enhance the equitable climate resilience of women and youth farmers in 15 sub-Saharan African countries;
  • CAD10 million ( US$7 million) for the AfDB to increase access to and adoption of fertilizer and soil-health innovations for biodiversity-friendly sustainable intensification of agriculture in 15 African countries

Canada committed CAD38 million ( US$29 million) in core funding for replenishment of IFAD. In addition, Canada contributed a CAD340 million ( US$261 million) loan to support climate-smart and gender-sensitive agriculture approaches

Canada announced CAD55 million ( US$42 million) at COP26 for a new global research initiative through CGIAR to address climate change, protect nature, advance gender equality, poverty reduction, and food and nutrition security. Canada is a founding member of CGIAR and has been a top-ten donor for the last decade.

On April 24, 2023, the Canadian Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food Marie-Claude Bibeau and the Japanese Minister of Agriculture, Forestry, and Fisheries Nomura Tetsuro, released a joint statement of cooperation on global food security.

Funding Outlook

ODA funding to agricultural R&D can be expected to increase in line with or faster than overall ODA, due to it being a top priority for the current government, and due to the escalating impacts of climate change and global food insecurity.

How is ODA to agricultural R&D calculated?

The estimations for agricultural R&D funding, both at aggregate and donor-specific level, are the result of a methodology created by SEEK Development and based on data from the Commission on Sustainable Agriculture Intensification. Numbers for 2020 and 2021 are projections calculated based on figures for 2017-2019, as well as trends identified through qualitative research.

Related Publications

A new era of development assistance: Key takeaways from the G7 summit

Donor Updates in Brief: 2023 OECD Preliminary Data

COP28: A pre-event primer for advocates

Looking for a cross donor perspective?

Learn more about SEEK's work on agricultural r&d

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Lauren Ashmore

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