Spain - Agriculture
At a glance
Agriculture is a priority of Spanish development policy but remains underfunded, compared to Spanish economic 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$219 million on agriculture in 2019, including both multilateral and bilateral spending. This represented 7% of total ODA in that year (DAC average: 7%), making Spain the 11th-largest donor to agriculture in absolute terms and the 12th-largest in relative terms.
Although agriculture is listed as a priority of Spanish development policy, funding to this sector has plateaued since 2016. Agricultural spending in 2019 was 7% lower than 2018 levels and marks the lowest amount of funding channeled to this sector since 2015.
In 2019, the majority of Spain’s agricultural ODA (75% or US$164 million) was channeled as core contributions to multilaterals, mainly through EU institutions (51% of total ODA to agriculture), the World Bank’s International Development Association (12%), the Green Climate Fund (7%), and the Food and Agricultural Organization (3%).
Spain's channeled 25% of its agricultural ODA was bilaterally (US$55 million), including US$4 million channeled as earmarked funding to multilateral organizations, considered bilateral ODA by the OECD. Spain’s bilateral agriculture funding focused on agricultural development (35%), rural development (17%), food crop production (12%), and agricultural policy and administrative management (8%). Voluntary multilateral contributions were cut as a result of austerity measures implemented between 2010 and 2014, but the current Spanish government under Sánchez is determined to resume contributions.
Spain also supports multilateral initiatives that contribute to the agricultural sector. Agriculture has been outlined, among other sectors, as a priority intervention area in the Spanish cooperation strategy to respond to COVID-19. In June of 2020, in response to the COVID-19 crisis, 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. In September of 2020, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Cooperation (MAUC) and its State Secretariat for International Cooperation approved a ‘Framework Co-Funding Agreement’ with IFAD. This new agreement, which aims to strengthen the financial collaborations between Spain and IFAD, will serve to foster rural development and fight hunger in ‘low- and middle-income’ countries. While MAUC has not specified the amount that Spain will provide to this collaboration, it disbursed €300 million (US$336 million) to IFAD between 2010 and 2020. Spain is expected to host the UN Food Systems Summit in the fall of 2021
MAUC’s Rural Development and Food Security Division defines agricultural strategic priorities
Within MAUC’s General Directorate for Sustainable Development Policies (DGPOLDES), the Rural Development and Food Security Division defines strategic priorities. Within Spain’s development agency (the Spanish Agency for International Development Cooperation or AECID), its Directorate for Multilateral and Sectorial Cooperation and its regional departments (including the Directorates for Africa and Latin America) oversee the programming and implementation of Spain’s bilateral ODA to agriculture. The Ministry of Agriculture, Food Security and Environment (MAGRAMA) and its Climate Change Office support MAUC and AECID on key issues.