The Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) is the Ministry primarily responsible for funding Agricultural Research for Development (ARD). Smaller contributions are provided by the Federal Ministry of Food, Agriculture and Consumer Protection (BMELV) and the Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF).
- Germany’s ARD focuses on food security, poverty alleviation, sustainable use of natural resources and biodiversity. New priorities include mitigating the effects of climate change and avoiding the spread of pests and diseases.
- Germany’s priorities are firmly rooted in the Millennium Development Goals.
- Food security, agriculture and rural development are the main focuses of German development cooperation with its partner countries. In addition, the government uses aid to deal with short-term food shortages.
ARD is primarily funded and coordinated by BMZ who set Germany’s development priorities in close consultation with the CGIAR (Consultative Group on International Agricultural Research) and international partner organisations. The Advisory Service on Agricultural Research for Development (BEAF) of the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH supports the German government in achieving its ARD objectives. Established in 2011, GIZ has brought together the expertise of the German Development Service (DED), the German Technical Cooperation (GTZ) and Capacity Building International (Inwent). GIZ operates in more than 130 countries.
BEAF supports the CGIAR centres with core funding and is responsible for selecting which CGIAR research projects to fund, in accordance with development and scientific criteria. It also supports and finances the secondment of German experts to CGIAR centres and advises BMZ on exercising its tasks on the steering committees. BEAF’s excellent network enables fruitful collaboration between German and international agricultural research institutions, as well as between private companies and international research centres.
The Council for Tropical and Subtropical Research (ATSAF) is one of a number of advisory bodies that supports ARD and publishes newsletters that provide the latest ARD information. Every year, researchers, funding agencies, NGOs and the private sector convene at Tropentag (conference on tropical and subtropical agriculture and natural resources management) to share their latest information. This event is supported by ATSAF.
The majority of BMZ funding for ARD is provided to 17 international agricultural research centres, primarily CGIAR centres, AVRDC (World Vegetable Center) and ICIPE (African Insect Science for Food and Health), as well as to national and regional research institutions in developing countries collaborating with international research centres. In 2010, BMZ provided 23 million euros to support ARD. Funds from BMBF and BMELV are mostly directed to German universities and Federal Agricultural Research Institutes.
- Germany supports the CGIAR, AVRDC (World Vegetable Center) and ICIPE (African Insect Science for Food and Health), in particular to research ways of sustaining biodiversity, producing more and better food at lower cost through genetic improvements, agricultural diversification, high-value commodities, and the sustainable management of water, land and forest resources.
- The fiat panis Foundation supports research projects at universities to support people with food or nutritional deficits and propose measures to tackle hunger and poverty in Asia and South America.
- BMELV funds Federal Research Institutes, six Leibniz-Gemeinschaft (WGL) Institutes, and finances a bilateral FAO trust fund for food security projects. Besides this, BMELV supports the Deutsche Agrarforschungsallianz (DAFA, Alliance for Agricultural Research). Founded in 2010, DAFA is a strategic alliance of public German agricultural research institutes.
- BMBF is implementing the National Research Strategy BioEconomy 2030 which aims to harness research and innovation to produce sufficient nutritious food for the growing global population. Global food security, sustainable agricultural production, healthy and safe food, industrial use of renewable resources and biomass-based energy sources are the core elements of the strategy. GlobE (Global Food Security), BMBFs latest research initiative for development, brings together German and international agricultural research institutes as well as private companies.
- The Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (DFG, German Research Foundation) funds long-term interdisciplinary collaborative ARD programmes in Africa, Latin America and Asia.
- The German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD) enables students, researchers and scientists to gain experience abroad. DAAD also works to strengthen higher education in developing countries.
Over the next few years, Germany’s general ARD objectives and geographic focus is not expected to change, although the thematic agenda will be influenced by climate change and globalisation. The trend in ARD towards interdisciplinary approaches and increased international collaboration will continue, enabling a rapid and targeted response to emerging themes by pooling resources in a more flexible way.
This country profile has been commissioned by EIARD (the permanent ARD coordination platform between the European Commission, Member States of the European Union, Norway and Switzerland) as part of a series providing an overview of policies and support for agricultural research for development by EIARD member countries. EIARD is not responsible for any omissions and inaccuracies contained within this document and the information is only correct up to the date of publishing (August 2011).