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Norway - ARD country profile

Norway - ARD country profile

Norway - ARD country profile

Norway supports integrated and highly internationalised efforts in Agricultural Research for Development (ARD) through several ministries, including the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and its Norwegian Agency for Development Cooperation (NORAD).

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Key ARD objectives

  • Norway participates in multilateral frameworks and multi-donor initiatives in order to build a truly global research-for-development community, acting as a bridge-builder between countries.
  • Through ARD, Norway strives to contribute to Millennium Development Goal (MDG) 1 on reduction of poverty and hunger as well as MDG 7 on ensuring environmental sustainability.
  • The country stands firmly by the importance of research which recognises the interactions between development, poverty and the environment, seeking to recognise and avoid the dangers of short-sighted, purely economic development.


Norway supports international ARD through several ministries with mandates in research, education and development cooperation. Prominent among these activities is the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, NORAD, the Norwegian Research Council (NFR) and the Norwegian Centre for International Cooperation in Higher Education (SIU). Elements of agricultural research are integrated into many major development efforts, and not all of these are undertaken explicitly in the name of ARD. Rather, Norway's approach is more often to include research cooperation and capacity development into broader-based programmes which bring together development, poverty reduction and regard for the environment.

Norway seeks involvement in major multilateral structures such as the newly created Consultative Group on International Agricultural Research (CGIAR) Fund, to which it contributes substantial funding with minimal restrictions. This, together with a number of large multi-year programmes, accounts for a large share of Norway's current ARD involvement. Bilateral projects with African and Asian partner countries are also ongoing, largely through universities both in Norway and partner countries.

Main ARD budget and beneficiaries for 2010

The Norwegian ministries follow a highly integrated approach to development which includes ARD as a component of many programmes without funding it under a specific category. Thus, the ministries do not create budgets for ARD alone and do not keep separate figures for this funding.

  • The one contribution specific to ARD is Norway's commitment to the CGIAR Fund (Window 1 core funding), which in 2011 totalled NOK 110 million. In addition Norway supports CGIAR centres’ activities in relation to REDD (reducing emissions from deforestation and forest degradation).
  • Multi-year projects with the Global Crop Diversity Trust (GCDT) ($50 million over ten years) and FAO (NOK 25 million per year) are not confined to ARD but do involve substantial components of research and training.
  • Support to joint research programmes through the ministry of Foreign Affairs country programmes, ministry of Education and Research, NFR and SIU and directly to agricultural universities in partner countries also strengthens agricultural research capacity.

ARD landscape

Several Norwegian ministries contribute to bilateral and multilateral ARD, though usually without funding it under a specific category. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs works through NORAD and the Ministry of Education and Research funds the NFR, SIU and Norwegian universities. Contributions also come from the Ministry of Environment and Ministry of Agriculture and Food.

Norway is currently involved in several major multilateral efforts in agricultural development with research components. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs contributes to the CGIAR primarily through the newly created CGIAR Fund, a multi-donor trust fund supporting international agricultural research. Outside of the Fund contribution, two individual CGIAR centres, the Centre for International Forestry Research (CIFOR) and World Agroforestry Centre (ICRAF) are also working with the Norwegian Forestry Initiative. FAO and GCDT are both engaged in multiyear programmes with Norway involving research and training.

Main ARD programmes

  1. Most multilateral funding to the CGIAR is channelled directly to the CGIAR Fund, a multi-donor, multi-year funding mechanism. This funding is through the Fund's Window 1, the least restricted type of funding. A smaller share of support also goes directly to the two CGIAR centres working with the Norwegian Forestry Initiative.
  2. GCDT recently signed a ten year contract with Norway which includes research and close cooperation with different CGIAR centres. GCDT will pursue research on maintaining and securing biodiversity, climate resistant crops, and wild relatives.
  3. Norway also has a multi-year partnership with FAO with a focus on climate change, biodiversity and fisheries, including a substantial component of training and research.
  4. Norway bilaterally supports programmes addressing ARD in a number of African and Asian countries. Key to this is support to agricultural universities like Sokoine University in Tanzania, Bunda College in Malawi, Mekele and Debub Universities in Ethiopia, and CATIE in Costa Rica.
  5. Norway supports joint research programmes through the NFR and SIU, encompassing capacity development and university collaboration in partner countries.


In a white paper produced in 2011, Norway expressed its intention to focus energy on the links between environment and development, promising to enhance its role as a driving force for greener development and as a bridge-builder between different groups of countries in international processes. Promoting sustainable agricultural development through ARD will undoubtedly be central to this broader effort, as will a truly international presence by the country's ministries in future multilateral frameworks.

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).