2022 Economic Development, Evaluation of Aid Mapping

Mapping Swedish Aid to Agriculture

Ivar Virgin, Alice Castensson, Filippa Ek, Ylva Ran

Agricultural development can strongly contribute to poverty reduction in low-income countries. Despite this, Swedish development aid to the agriculture, forestry and fishery sectors constitute a small share of total aid flows. During 2005-2020 official statistics show a relatively stable share of aid being attributed to the agriculture sector: around 3 percent of the aid budget, and some 5.5 percent of funds distributed by Sida.

However, is this picture true? A recent mapping, commissioned by the Expert Group for Aid Studies, indicates severe underreporting. The inset report finds that during the period 2005–2020:

  • The real share of agricultural aid in Swedish development cooperation was probably 5-6 percent of total aid flows, and between 8-9 percent of the total aid distributed by Sida;
  • Swedish international development, in addition to aid to agricuture, was increasingly directed at sub-Saharan Africa;
  • Swedish aid to agriculture was significantly lower when compared to other traditional donors, such as Finland, Denmark, Spain, Switzerland, Canada and Belgium;
  • Sweden distributed agricultural aid under other labels, such as climate adaptation or gender equality.