Statistics
 

Government expenditure on agriculture

Agriculture share of central government expenditures less than half the sector’s  contribution to GDP, 2001-2015

Between 2001 and 2015, governments allocated a low (less than 2%) and progressively declining share of their central government expenditures to agriculture (GEA). Falling from 1.6% to 1.3%, the GEA share of total expenditures was, on average, under one-third of the sector’s contribution to GDP, which increased in the same period from 4.1 % to over 5%. The progressively declining share of their expenditure to agriculture sector suggests a public underinvestment in the sector.

This public underinvestment in agriculture, and the sector’s importance to economic growth and poverty alleviation, particularly in Africa, was acknowledged in the African Union’s Maputo Declaration of 2003, under which signatory nations committed to allocate 10% of government expenditures to agriculture and rural development. Though several countries were unable to attain this goal, the importance of public expenditures in agriculture was recognized in the Malabo Declaration of 2014, in which signatory nations re-committed to the 10% goal.  

In developing regions, despite the significantly higher contribution of agriculture to GDP (7.1 % in 2015) and its even greater contribution to rural employment, this sector received only 1.9% of total central government spending. These regions also experienced the largest downward trend in the GEA share of central government spending between 2001 to 2015 (from 3.7 to 1.9%), interrupted temporarily during the food price crisis of 2006-2008, during which governments boosted the GEA share to a 13-year high of 4.2% in 2008. 

Agriculture share of government expenditures by region, 2001-2015

Asian and African countries lead GEA share of government expenditures

Overall, Asia and the Pacific and Africa were the two regions with the highest GEA share of central government spending, and included 8 of the top 10 countries in average expenditure shares from 2010 to 2014. This top 10 was led by Malawi (15.8%), Bhutan (13.1%), Nepal (10.6%), Uzbekistan (10.3%) and Belarus (8.3%).

Top ten countries in agricultural spending, average, 2009-2014

* Based on 2011-2014 data; ** 2014 data not yet reported

Government expenditures more agriculture oriented in developed countries, though agriculture orientation fell globally since 2001

Developed countries’ central governments have demonstrated a higher priority, or orientation, to the agriculture sector than developing countries when compared to the sector’s contribution to the economy. This is shown using a new statistical indicator called the Agriculture Orientation Index (AOI) for government expenditures, which provides a ratio of the agriculture share of central government spending to agriculture’s contribution to GDP. Governments with an AOI greater than 1 give more prominence to agriculture than its contribution to the economy while those with an AOI less than 1 give more prominence to non-agricultural sectors.

In developed regions, the AOI was above 0.3 throughout 2001-2014, with a high of 0.53 in 2006. In developing regions the AOI remained below 0.4 except in 2008, when governments increased their expenditure allocation to agriculture, resulting in a AOI of 0.40. Globally the AOI fell from 0.38 in 2001 to 0.26 in 2015.

AOIs consistently greater than 1 for were found only in Eastern Asia excluding China (from 1.5 in 2001 to 1.7 in 2014), which indicates the government share of agriculture spending was 150% the sector’s contribution to GDP. Conversely Northern Africa, Sub-Saharan Africa and Oceania had among the lowest AOIs since 2010, with values well below 0.25 in almost every year. Northern Africa, in particular, saw its AOI fall from 1.05 in 2001 to 0.11 in 2015.

Trends in Central government spending on Agriculture by region, 2001-2015

Trends in Central government spending on Agriculture for select regions, 2001-2015

For more detailed country data on GEA, please consult the FAOSTAT Investment domain.

Data tables

Data tables

Table 1. Agriculture share of Central Government Expenditures by SDG Region, 2001-2015

 

 

2001

2002

2003

2004

2005

2006

2007

2008

2009

2010

2011

2012

2013

2014

2015

WORLD

1.57

1.44

1.31

1.36

1.38

1.55

1.57

1.70

1.47

1.38

1.39

1.41

1.38

1.12

1.29

Developing regions

3.73

3.62

3.36

3.39

3.44

3.82

3.82

4.18

3.00

2.84

2.68

2.81

2.60

2.18

1.87

Northern Africa

9.87

9.45

8.87

4.51

3.25

2.86

2.17

3.04

2.58

1.81

1.64

1.88

1.90

1.59

1.47

Sub-Saharan Africa

2.78

2.86

2.48

2.71

3.42

3.34

3.74

3.42

2.92

2.48

2.42

2.23

2.08

2.28

1.72

Latin America & the Caribbean

1.17

1.51

1.55

1.36

1.34

1.30

1.72

2.23

0.94

0.84

0.67

0.83

0.75

0.70

0.78

Eastern Asia

5.70

5.18

4.91

4.44

4.50

5.10

3.96

3.57

3.13

3.41

3.64

3.41

3.25

2.98

1.22

Eastern Asia excluding China

5.70

5.18

4.91

4.44

4.50

5.10

4.80

4.71

4.25

4.48

4.79

4.24

4.07

3.72

1.22

Southern Asia

4.40

3.91

3.37

4.03

4.43

5.02

5.36

7.68

5.61

6.92

6.58

5.85

5.76

2.40

2.85

Southern Asia excluding India

2.21

3.58

2.32

2.80

3.66

3.68

3.59

4.04

2.73

3.97

2.84

3.98

4.94

2.40

2.85

South-Eastern Asia

3.69

3.68

3.74

3.29

2.95

3.09

3.23

3.01

3.12

2.43

2.19

3.72

2.83

4.02

4.11

Western Asia

0.58

0.63

0.59

1.44

0.91

3.42

3.93

3.69

3.12

2.80

2.96

2.77

2.31

2.62

2.70

Oceania

 

 

 

 

3.06

2.85

3.09

2.20

2.18

2.18

2.56

3.27

3.12

2.92

3.12

Caucasus and Central Asia

4.63

 

1.06

2.96

3.48

3.66

3.79

3.55

3.89

3.71

4.09

3.95

3.42

3.20

2.39

Developed regions

1.16

1.06

0.97

0.99

0.96

0.98

0.92

0.92

0.86

0.80

0.88

0.82

0.80

0.71

0.69

LDC

4.04

4.11

3.37

4.16

5.30

4.73

4.90

4.31

4.29

2.86

3.18

3.78

4.25

2.77

2.27

LLDC

5.13

6.39

5.48

5.65

5.79

6.05

5.92

4.78

4.99

4.50

4.87

4.21

4.17

3.87

3.56

SIDS

0.54

1.10

1.17

0.61

0.77

0.61

0.71

0.99

0.93

0.80

0.85

0.98

0.93

0.76

0.55

 



Table 2. Agriculture share of GDP by SDG Region, 2001-2015

 

 

2001

2002

2003

2004

2005

2006

2007

2008

2009

2010

2011

2012

2013

2014

2015*

WORLD

4.14

3.94

4.05

4.11

3.98

4.19

5.10

5.28

5.37

5.53

5.54

5.62

5.80

4.91

4.99

Developing regions

10.22

10.20

10.92

10.45

9.98

10.04

10.36

10.43

9.92

9.74

9.54

9.31

9.34

8.07

7.07

Northern Africa

9.42

8.30

9.29

12.24

12.51

10.86

10.36

9.86

11.49

12.51

13.02

12.95

13.88

13.85

13.85

Sub-Saharan Africa

12.19

12.23

16.26

14.02

13.75

14.12

14.30

14.89

15.72

14.04

13.91

14.06

13.83

9.84

13.23

Latin America & the Caribbean

5.18

7.90

7.82

7.42

7.02

6.57

6.87

5.98

4.97

4.93

5.00

4.93

5.28

5.37

5.24

Eastern Asia

3.73

3.39

3.14

3.18

2.84

2.70

8.65

9.12

8.98

8.78

8.82

8.84

8.75

8.52

14.17

Eastern Asia excluding China

3.73

3.39

3.14

3.18

2.84

2.70

2.45

2.26

2.35

2.30

2.35

2.32

2.13

2.14

14.17

Southern Asia

22.26

18.14

18.34

16.78

16.41

15.98

15.85

15.46

15.71

17.99

17.91

17.39

17.23

21.12

21.12

Southern Asia excluding India

23.34

15.48

15.73

14.75

13.97

13.65

13.32

12.43

13.18

21.97

23.14

20.25

19.80

21.12

21.12

South-Eastern Asia

7.35

7.69

7.95

9.71

9.08

9.77

10.17

10.92

11.05

11.24

10.23

9.76

10.89

9.13

7.87

Western Asia

1.74

1.72

1.52

1.09

0.94

7.45

7.60

7.50

8.65

7.89

7.42

5.24

4.41

4.64

4.86

Oceania

 

 

 

 

12.65

12.74

12.96

11.26

11.92

11.34

14.05

14.71

13.68

13.17

9.52

Caucasus and Central Asia

34.53

 

19.30

16.39

7.22

6.70

6.64

6.02

7.08

5.68

7.66

7.06

7.20

7.26

5.18

Developed regions

2.34

2.15

2.13

2.17

1.95

1.84

1.88

1.89

1.77

1.86

1.99

1.94

1.98

1.86

2.23

LDC

24.62

23.65

23.71

22.99

21.88

20.18

19.07

16.80

18.44

19.53

19.66

17.54

16.24

15.62

14.91

LLDC

27.76

26.73

28.54

27.80

17.61

16.03

15.32

11.54

13.25

11.86

12.77

11.03

10.71

10.12

8.78

SIDS

1.03

2.14

1.76

0.82

1.06

0.97

0.84

0.89

1.02

0.96

1.73

1.74

1.64

1.47

1.32

 

* provisional data

 

Table 3. Agriculture Orientation Index (AOI) for Central Government Expenditures by SDG Region, 2001-2015

 

 

2001

2002

2003

2004

2005

2006

2007

2008

2009

2010

2011

2012

2013

2014

2015*

WORLD

0.38

0.37

0.32

0.33

0.35

0.37

0.31

0.32

0.27

0.25

0.25

0.25

0.24

0.23

0.26

Developing regions

0.36

0.35

0.31

0.32

0.34

0.38

0.37

0.40

0.30

0.29

0.28

0.30

0.28

0.27

0.26

Northern Africa

1.05

1.14

0.95

0.37

0.26

0.26

0.21

0.31

0.22

0.14

0.13

0.15

0.14

0.12

0.11

Sub-Saharan Africa

0.23

0.23

0.15

0.19

0.25

0.24

0.26

0.23

0.19

0.18

0.17

0.16

0.15

0.23

0.13

Latin America & the Caribbean

0.23

0.19

0.20

0.18

0.19

0.20

0.25

0.37

0.19

0.17

0.13

0.17

0.14

0.13

0.15

Eastern Asia

1.53

1.53

1.56

1.39

1.58

1.89

0.46

0.39

0.35

0.39

0.41

0.39

0.37

0.35

0.09

Eastern Asia excluding China

1.53

1.53

1.56

1.39

1.58

1.89

1.96

2.08

1.81

1.95

2.03

1.82

1.91

1.74

0.09

Southern Asia

0.20

0.22

0.18

0.24

0.27

0.31

0.34

0.50

0.36

0.38

0.37

0.34

0.33

0.11

0.13

Southern Asia excluding India

0.09

0.23

0.15

0.19

0.26

0.27

0.27

0.32

0.21

0.18

0.12

0.20

0.25

0.11

0.13

South-Eastern Asia

0.50

0.48

0.47

0.34

0.33

0.32

0.32

0.28

0.28

0.22

0.21

0.38

0.26

0.44

0.52

Western Asia

0.34

0.37

0.39

1.33

0.96

0.46

0.52

0.49

0.36

0.36

0.40

0.53

0.52

0.56

0.56

Oceania

 

 

 

 

0.24

0.22

0.24

0.20

0.18

0.19

0.18

0.22

0.23

0.22

0.33

Caucasus and Central Asia

0.13

 

0.06

0.18

0.48

0.55

0.57

0.59

0.55

0.65

0.53

0.56

0.48

0.44

0.46

Developed regions

0.50

0.49

0.45

0.45

0.49

0.53

0.49

0.49

0.49

0.43

0.44

0.42

0.40

0.38

0.31

LDC

0.16

0.17

0.14

0.18

0.24

0.23

0.26

0.26

0.23

0.15

0.16

0.22

0.26

0.18

0.15

LLDC

0.18

0.24

0.19

0.20

0.33

0.38

0.39

0.41

0.38

0.38

0.38

0.38

0.39

0.38

0.41

SIDS

0.52

0.51

0.66

0.75

0.73

0.63

0.85

1.11

0.91

0.83

0.49

0.56

0.57

0.52

0.42

 

 

* provisional data

 

Table 4. Number of countries reporting Central Government Spending by SDG Region, 2001-2015

 

2001

2002

2003

2004

2005

2006

2007

2008

2009

2010

2011

2012

2013

2014

2015

WORLD

72

77

81

87

92

96

101

107

111

110

110

107

98

90

51

Developing regions

43

45

48

51

58

61

65

71

74

72

71

68

60

54

36

Northern Africa

1

1

1

2

2

4

4

4

4

3

3

3

1

1

1

Sub-Saharan Africa

15

15

15

17

19

20

23

24

24

26

23

20

14

13

7

Latin America & the Caribbean

10

11

13

11

12

11

10

11

13

12

13

13

13

12

9

Eastern Asia

2

2

1

1

1

1

2

2

2

3

3

3

2

2

1

Eastern Asia excluding China

2

2

1

1

1

1

1

1

1

2

2

2

1

1

1

Southern Asia

6

8

9

9

9

9

9

9

9

7

7

7

7

4

4

Southern Asia excluding India

5

7

8

8

8

8

8

8

8

6

6

6

6

4

4

South-Eastern Asia

4

4

4

5

5

6

6

7

7

7

6

6

7

6

5

Western Asia

4

4

4

5

6

5

6

6

5

3

3

4

5

5

4

Oceania

0

0

0

0

2

2

2

4

5

6

7

7

6

6

2

Caucasus and Central Asia

1

0

1

1

2

3

3

4

5

5

6

5

5

5

3

Developed regions

29

32

33

36

34

35

36

36

37

38

39

39

38

36

15

LDC

12

13

14

15

17

17

19

20

20

21

19

18

14

11

8

LLDC

10

11

11

12

14

15

16

17

19

20

20

17

14

12

8

SIDS

5

6

7

5

8

8

9

14

15

16

17

16

14

13

8

 

Notes

Notes

• FAO collects GEA data through annual questionnaires from over 150 countries. For some countries, data are sourced directly from IMF Government Finance Statistics database, or through official country websites and publications. Countries are requested by FAO to provide detailed breakdown of government expenditure on agriculture sector, agriculture (crops and husbandry), forestry, and fishery, and R&D expenditures on agriculture, forestry and fishery, including the breakdown of recurrent and capital expenditures, where possible. The GEA database is further supplemented with government expenditures data on Environmental Protection.

• Data and analysis on government expenditures refers to those countries only that compiled and reported data on central government expenditures on agriculture. Country coverage is provided in methodological country notes.

• Agriculture refers to the Section A and B of the International Standard Industrial Classification (ISIC) Revision 3.1, which includes agriculture, hunting, forestry and fishing.

• FAO began global data collection on government in agriculture (GEA) in 2012, requesting countries provide annual data from 2001 through 2010 or the most recently available year. Data was collected through an FAO questionnaire jointly developed with the International Monetary Fund (IMF), using the International Classification of the Functions of Government (COFOG). FAO’s 2nd global data collection on GEA began in Fall 2014; the 3rd in Fall 2015, from which this analysis is based. To advance timeliness of data, FAO has advanced its annual GEA data collection to the Spring, starting in 2016. 

Contact