Issue Deep Dive
Last updated: April 14, 2023
ODA In Context
Japan was the fourth-largest DAC donor to agriculture in 2021.
Funding for agriculture and rural development represented 5% of Japan’s total ODA in 2021, lower than the DAC average of 6%.
Japan’s ODA to agriculture decreased by 12% in 2021.
In line with its overall ODA, Japan channeled most of its ODA for agriculture projects bilaterally, including a small share as earmarked funding through multilaterals. The share of agriculture ODA channeled as core funding to multilaterals has been increasing and stood at 44% in 2021.
Japan’s bilateral agricultural ODA amounted to US$606 million in 2021, an increase of 30% from 2020 levels. In 2021, agricultural water resources received the largest share of bilateral funding (32%), followed by fishery development (10%), rural development (9%), and agricultural policy and administrative management (7%).
Multilateral Spending and Commitments
Multilateral ODA to agriculture stood at US$473 million in 2021, representing 44% of total agricultural ODA. The largest recipient was the GCF (US$208 million), followed by the International Development Association (US$115 million), and ADF (US$98 million).
Japan joined the 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 to GAFSP since then.
The table below summarizes Japan’s more recent commitments to multilaterals working on agricultural development. Some of these commitments are considered core funding to multilaterals, while others will be earmarked funding through multilaterals.
Funding and Policy Outlook
Agriculture is a key focus for achieving “quality growth”: 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 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.
Emphasis on improving agricultural outcomes in Africa: Japan emphasizes agriculture in Africa and has included agriculture as a recurring theme of its TICAD. One notable output of TICAD was the CARD initiative, which was launched by JICA, the Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa, and the New Partnership for African Development following TICAD IV 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 partner countries. This focus is set to continue as CARD enters its second phase of programming (2019-2030).
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