The 2005 Paris Declaration on Aid Effectiveness will be reviewed at the Third High-Level Forum on Aid Effectiveness in Accra in September 2008. The Paris Declaration establishes operating principles for donors and recipient governments to improve the effectiveness of aid. These include government leadership of the development process, a focus on policy results, greater alignment by donors with national policies and management systems, harmonisation between donors with division of labour, and mutual accountability for development results. These principles are broadly sound for guiding development cooperation with national governments. However, they do not help in addressing the challenges arising in certain areas of assistance. In agriculture, the overwhelmingly private nature of agricultural activities, the roles of non-governmental service providers, the significance of context and the cross-sectoral dimension of policy challenges are some of the reasons why development cooperation in that sector struggles to comply with the Paris principles. The paper sets out areas requiring focused attention in the run-up to Accra 2008.