Spain - Agriculture
At a glance
Agriculture is a priority of Spanish development policy but remains underfunded, compared to pre-crisis funding levels
Agriculture, rural development, and food security more generally, are among the key priorities of Spain’s official development assistance (ODA). According to data from the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) Development Assistance Committee (DAC), Spain spent US$225 million on agriculture in 2016, (the latest year for which multilateral and bilateral OECD data is available). This represented 5% of total ODA in that year (below the DAC average of 7%), making Spain the 11th-largest donor to agriculture in absolute terms.
The majority of Spain’s agricultural ODA in 2016 (71% or US$160 million) was channeled multilaterally. Voluntary multilateral contributions were cut as a result of austerity measures implemented between 2010 and 2014 but the new Spanish government is determined to resume contributions. For instance: in July 2020, the Prime Minister announced that Spain will provide €10 million (US$12 million) to the Global Agriculture and Food Security Program (GAFSP) aimed at combating hunger and guaranteeing nutrition standards in partner countries severely affected by the COVID-19 crisis.
In 2016, 28% of Spain's agricultural ODA (US$64 million) was channeled bilaterally. Bilateral funding briefly peaked in 2016 at US$66 million, but gradually decreased to reach US$55 million in 2018. In 2018, bilateral funding focused on rural development (23% of bilateral agriculture ODA in 2018), agriculture development (22%), and food crop production (14%).
According to the ‘Master Plan for Spanish Cooperation 2018-2021’, Spain’s development actions on rural development and agriculture are earmarked under its ‘zero hunger’ strategic goal. Under this strategic goal, Spain focuses on increasing agricultural productivity and fostering food security and nutrition in partner countries. Spain focuses particularly on smallholder farmers (specifically prioritizing women and female farmers) and supports them in shifting from subsistence farming to surplus farming. In terms of geographical focus, Spain concentrates its efforts on Latin America and sub-Saharan Africa.
In June 2020, in response to the COVID-19 crisis, Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez announced that Spain will provide €10 million (US$11 million) to the Global Agriculture and Food Security Program (GAFSP) aimed at combating hunger and guaranteeing nutrition standards in partner countries severely affected by COVID-19.
MAEUEC’s Rural Development and Food Security Division defines agricultural strategic priorities
The Rural Development and Food Security Division within the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Cooperation (MAEUEC) 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 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 supports MAEUEC and AECID on key issues.