Agricultural aid is the provision of agricultural products or technology by one nation to another, normally by developed to developing countries. Aid will continue to be required because in many developing countries 4 out of 10 persons are malnourished. Developing countries only grow between 74% and 87% of their own food needs.
Agricultural aid is just one component of Foreign Aid. Canadian agricultural aid is disbursed primarily by the Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA) and the International Development Research Centre (IDRC). Disbursements by these 2 institutions are about $2 billion; ie, 79% of Canadian Official Development Assistance (ODA) and 0.5% of the Gross Domestic Product. Canada is the 7th-highest donor among members of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development. In 1985-86 Canada disbursed approximately $580 million of food and agricultural aid through the following 4 channels (the first 3 are CIDA items).
Bilateral, Multilateral, and Special Programs Aid
Bilateral aid is provided to specific countries or groups of countries. In 1985-86 bilateral agricultural and food aid amounted to $290.5 million.
Multilateral aid is channelled through international financial, research and development institutions. In 1985-86 Canada contributed $73 million to the International Fund for Agricultural Development and close to $13.5 million to the Consultative Group on International Research in support of 14 international research centres. In addition, Canada contributed $150.3 million in food aid through multilateral institutions, primarily the World Food Program. Ninety-five percent of the food was in the form of cereals. The remainder was made up of vegetable oil, pulses, skim milk powder and fish.
Special Programs Aid refers to monies given to nongovernmental organizations (NGOs). The $28.15-million food-aid budgets of the NGOs, in 1985-86, were handled primarily by the NGO Skim Milk Powder Program, the Canadian Foodgrains Bank and the International Committee of the Red Cross.
International Development Research Centre
IDRC's contribution to agricultural aid differs from CIDA's to the extent that IDRC promotes the development of a scientific and technical base which developing countries can use to improve their agricultural output. IDRC's agricultural aid is concentrated in 2 divisions: the Agricultural, Food and Nutrition Science Division, with a 1985-86 budget of $21.8 million; and the section of the Social Science Division dealing with Economics and Rural Modernization, with a budget of approximately $2 million.
Canada's agricultural aid includes the assignment of advisers abroad and the training of students from developing countries in Canada. In the year 1985-86 CIDA fully or partially supported more than 360 agricultural and fisheries long-term advisers (over 6 months) and 560 short-term advisers. Sixty-four percent of the long-term advisers were on assignment to Africa. Canadian universities and colleges also contribute to Canada's agricultural aid program. The 8 university faculties or colleges of agriculture or veterinary medicine undertook $4.5 million worth of new international projects. In addition, these institutions provided training in the areas of agriculture and fisheries for more than 460 students from developing countries. These students were fully or partially supported by CIDA.