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Agriculture and food

mdg1 MDG target 1.C aims to halve extreme hunger by the end of 2015. Government Spending Watch tracks spending on agriculture and food to see how well governments are doing in spending which can help meet this target. 

Tracking spending on agriculture and food allows us to see how much is being spent to achieve MDG target 1.C, which aims to halve the number of people who suffer from hunger. It also allows us to see the level of government spending on agricultural development, which (because most poor people in low-income countries rely on agriculture for livelihoods) can lift many poor people out of poverty. 

African governments committed themselves to spend at least 10% of their budgets on agriculture, as part of the African Union 'CAADP agreement' . This is the only cross-country target set, and is in line with recommended spending levels set by the World Bank, so we assess how near or far countries are from this.

Our 2015 report looks at the latest spending trends on this. The main findings on agriculture and food spending are that:

  • Only 15% of countries are meeting the target to spend 10% of their budgets on agriculture.
  • Average spending is only halfway to the target and has fallen since 2012.
  • Average spending on agriculture in Africa is 5% –- half the amount needed to meet the African Union spending target

Looking forward to the new Sustainable Development Goals there is a huge challenge for governments to scale-up their spending even further. We estimate that SDGs for zero hunger and sustainable agriculture will require spending to be doubled. The SDGs will also need significant improvement to tracking what is genuinely anti-hunger and sustainable spending.

  • To read more about the agriculture sector findings in the Government Spending Watch 2015 report, click here.
  • To see how accessible data are for this sector, click herepdf.