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Sweden - ARD country profile

Sweden - ARD country profile

Sweden - ARD country profile

With funding from the Ministry for Foreign Affairs, and guided by a four-year strategy document on research cooperation, the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (SIDA) is Sweden's primary executing agency for Agricultural Research for Development (ARD).

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Key ARD objectives

  • The Swedish Policy for Global Development commits the country to equitable and sustainable global development.
  • Research in Swedish development cooperation has an overall aim of strengthening and developing scientific research of relevance in the fight against poverty in developing countries.
  • Within development cooperation, environmental and climate support aims to contribute to a better environment, sustainable use of natural resources, stronger resilience to environmental impact and climate change in developing countries, and limited climate impact.


The Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (SIDA) is currently operating under a unified Policy and Strategy for Research Cooperation 2010-2014, established in 2010. The implementation of this policy is the major force guiding SIDA's allocation of funds from the Ministry for Foreign Affairs.

Under this strategy SIDA continues to implement a wide programme of support and coordination, contributing to multilateral research at CGIAR institutes, bilateral projects in Africa and elsewhere, and research at universities in Sweden and in partner countries. The largest centre of ARD within Sweden is the Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences (SLU), which works closely with CGIAR (Consultative Group on International Agricultural Research) institutes and coordinates Agri4D, the national research network on agricultural and forestry research for development.

Main ARD budget and beneficiaries for 2010


Ministry of Foreign Affairs (through SIDA) SEK 400,218,473
Ministry for Rural Affairs SEK 10,000,000


Global support (e.g. CGIAR) SEK 209,868,860
Partner country universities, research centres and ministries SEK 95,506,172
Regional institutions SEK 93,843,441
Swedish Research Council (Formas) SEK 10,000,000

Geographical focus

Africa SEK 107,686,313
America SEK 34,756,537
Asia SEK 37,917,492
Europe SEK 6,492,770
Global SEK 223,365,360

ARD landscape

Sweden's Policy and Strategy for Research Cooperation is the basis for SIDA's focus for 2010-2014. SIDA's Unit for Research Cooperation (FORSK) has overall responsibility for the implementation of the Policy and Strategy and reports to the Ministry for Foreign Affairs. Formas, the Swedish Research Council, promotes and supports basic and need-driven research in the areas of Environment, Agricultural Sciences and Spatial Planning. Formas allocates funds originating from the Ministry of the Environment and the Ministry for Rural Affairs.

Several Swedish universities are involved in ARD, and the largest of these is the Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences (SLU). SLU staff work closely with CGIAR centres and coordinate Agri4D. SLU is now establishing a secretariat for the new programme, Agricultural Sciences for Global Development, the aim of which is to coordinate SLU's contribution to the implementation of the Swedish Government's Policy for Global Development.

Main ARD programmes

In addition to bilateral projects and the CGIAR, SIDA supports regional efforts such as Bio-Innovate, the Regional Research Cooperation for Livestock-Based Sustainable Farming Systems in the Lower Mekong Basin (Mekarn), Lake Victoria Research Initiative (VicRes), and the Western Indian Ocean Marina Science Association (WIOMSA).

SLU has a history of collaboration with the CGIAR at all levels, from representation on Centre boards (currently on two boards of trustees) to visiting professors, post-docs and PhD students. In 2009 SLU made 10 million SEK of its own funds available to support six CGIAR research projects. SLU staff also coordinate Agri4D.

In 2010, SLU received 40 million SEK directly from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to support food security projects within fields such as plant breeding, farming systems, animal health/welfare and disease control. The geographic focus is on southern and eastern Africa and Central Asia. The programme Agricultural Sciences for Global Development is currently coordinating these research projects.

Besides the contribution to SLU, 60 million SEK was allocated by the Government in 2010 to the Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa (AGRA).


Sweden will continue to prioritise research cooperation at all levels throughout and beyond its outlined strategy for 2010-2014. Swedish researchers and resources will remain strong partners for needs-led research, whether undertaken by large CGIAR projects or individual researchers at developing-world universities.

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).