ODA Spending

How much ODA does the UK allocate to agriculture?

The UK was the fifth-largest OECD DAC donor country to agriculture in 2022, representing 3.8% of the UK’s ODA (compared to the DAC average of 6%). The volume and percentage of UK ODA to agriculture fell from US$749 million (5% of total ODA) in 2021 to US$649 million in 2022 (4% of total ODA). The majority of UK agricultural ODA is provided via multilaterals.

How is UK agricultural ODA changing?

The UK will continue to support agriculture and increasingly through the lens of climate and food security. Smallholder farmers and SMEs will continue to be at the heart of the UK’s approach to agriculture moving forward, and there will be a continued strong focus on research, technology, and innovation. This strong focus is reflected in the UK’s Gilbert Initiative, launched in 2021 and aimed at developing climate-resilient food systems through research and innovation. Pressures of COVID-19 recovery, Brexit, and the ensuing political and economic instability from these events have played a role in the decrease in ODA more generally, which has had a trickle-down effect on the development of agricultural ODA.

How does the UK allocate agricultural ODA?

Bilateral Spending

In 2022, 43% of the UK’s ODA for agriculture was disbursed through bilateral channels, including as earmarked funding through multilaterals, below the DAC average of 51%. The volume of overall ODA to agriculture declined steeply between 2020 and 2021 as a result of a reduced overall ODA budget, and further declined in 2022. Bilateral funding to agriculture has fluctuated in the last five years following its peak of US$663 million, or 54% share of total ODA to agriculture, in 2017.

Multilateral Spending and Commitments

Core contributions to multilaterals in 2022 accounted for 58% of the UK’s ODA to agriculture.

Funding and Policy Outlook

What is the current UK government's outlook on agricultural ODA?

The UK’s 2023 White Paper on International Development sets out a vision for Agriculture 4.0, using technology and innovation to support a climate-resilient, nutritious agriculture and food production that ensures food security, poverty alleviation, and sustainable land and water use: The White Paper also highlighted the importance of working with smallholder farmers and SMEs to increase their productivity and enable broad-based growth in developing countries, and recognizes the need to mobilize more investment in climate- and nature-smart agriculture.

While the UK does not have an up-to-date standalone agriculture strategy, the UK’s 2023 International Climate Finance Strategy identified support for sustainable agriculture and just transitions to more sustainable food systems.

While agriculture is not a primary sector for the UK, it remains important with regard to addressing climate and food security issues, but largely falls under climate ODA: In November 2023, the UK hosted a Global Food Security Summit in London which focused, amongst other things on ‘building a climate-resilient and sustainable agriculture and food system’ and ‘harnessing science and technology for food security.’ The UK signed the COP28 Emirates Declaration on Sustainable Agriculture, Resilient Food Systems, and Climate Action at the Summit. It also launched a new virtual UK - CGIAR Centre for Science Collaboration and committed an additional GBP45 million ( US$54 million) of funding for CGIAR, taking UK funding to a total of GBP110 million ( US$132 million) for CGIAR through 2027. The UK continues to provide support to the GAFSP and provided GBP45 million ( US$54 million) in support over the next 5 years through the Just Rural Transition Support Program in partnership with the World Bank

Tracking Commitments at COP27

Key Bodies

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

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