Agriculture is a key priority of Spanish development policy

Agriculture and rural development, and food security more generally, is a key priority of Spain’s ODA. In 2015, Spain allocated US$145 million to agriculture (8% of its total ODA). This is slightly more than the 7% average of member-countries of the Development Assistance Committee (DAC) of the OECD. Within its ODA to agriculture, Spain focuses on smallholder farmers, and among them, prioritizes women. It aims to develop the economic potential of agriculture, through a greater involvement of the private sector. In addition, Spain increasingly links rural development to climate change; committing at the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change in 2015, €900 million in annual funding to developing countries; as to support them in mitigating the causes climate change by 2030.

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In 2015, Spain provided nearly two thirds of its ODA to agriculture and rural development through multilateral organizations (62%; US$90 million). This is mostly due to Spain’s need to fulfill its core obligations towards the European Union (EU) institutions, which accounts for the majority of its ODA to agriculture (55% or US$80 million in 2015).

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Spain’s bilateral agriculture ODA accounted for US$54 million in 2015; 7% of its total bilateral ODA. Agriculture is the fourth-largest sector within Spain’s bilateral cooperation. Bilateral investments focus on agricultural development (40% in 2015), food crop production (12%), and rural development (10%). Most bilateral ODA to agriculture was channeled through civil society organizations (CSOs): Spain allocated 64% of it in 2015. Spain concentrates its efforts on Latin America and sub-Saharan Africa. Support to small-scale production systems is a high strategic priority, and Spain places a special focus on women in this context. Support to smallholder farmers is meant to enable them to move from subsistence farming to producing a marketable surplus.


Spain’s priority countries for bilateral cooperation in agriculture:

  • Ethiopia
  • Mauritania
  • Mali
  • Mozambique
  • Nigeria
  • Senegal

MAEC’s Rural Development and Food-Security Division defines agricultural strategic priorities

The Rural Development and Food -Security Division within the Ministry Foreign Affairs and Cooperation (MAEC) defines strategic priorities. Within Spain’s development agency (AECID), its Directorate for Multilateral and Sectorial Cooperation and its regional departments (i.e., Directorates for Africa and for Latin America), are in charge of the programming and implementation of Spain’s bilateral ODA to agriculture. In addition, the Ministry of Agriculture, Food Security and Environment (MAGRAMA) and its Climate Change Office support MAEC and AECID on key issues.