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BBVA: fighting hunger and supporting sustainable agriculture

As part of its commitment to the communities it serves, BBVA is contributing to the fulfillment of the UN’s second Sustainable Development Goal (SDG): to end hunger and promote sustainable agriculture. The 17 SDGs are a universal cry, calling for the adoption of measures to end poverty, protect the planet, and ensure that all people enjoy peace and prosperity. With this initiative, the UN appeals to businesses to take a stake in public-private alliances and join forces by uniting their efforts behind this initiative.

Malnutrition and hunger, which affects more than 790 million people worldwide, is often the result of poor crops, inefficient production cycles, inadequate infrastructure available for the harvesting or transportation of crops, or causes directly related to climate change. Causes that could be reduced, or even corrected, if the adequate means were made available, and even more importantly, if there were a firm and coordinated resolve from the key players involved.

In this context, investment in, and the development of, the agricultural sector has been established as a fundamental part of the solution to end hunger and poverty, most especially in rural settings because agriculture can serve as a food supply, act as a source of decent incomes, support the development of rural people, and protect the environment — if it is properly managed.

Supporting small farmers and assisting with their financing has become a priority for the attainment of SDG 2. BBVA participates in this domain fundamentally through the BBVA Microfinance Foundation, and it is striving to exponentially  ramp up its activity for 2030. The Microfinance Foundation is specifically aligned to goal 2.3 of this SDG, which in the next 11 years hopes to “double the agricultural productivity and incomes of small-scale food producers, in particular women, indigenous peoples, family farmers, pastoralists and fishers, including through secure and equal access to land, other productive resources and inputs, knowledge, financial services, markets and opportunities for value addition and nonfarm employment.”

In this context, investment in, and the development of, the agricultural sector has been established as part of the solution to end hunger and poverty

Developing a value proposition and a support model specifically for this segment is key to the fulfillment of the BBVA Microfinance Foundation mission. To this end, it is undertaking different projects to stimulate the progress of small farmers in Latin America. With the support of the foundation, these entrepreneurs have seen their assets grow by  18 percent per year. Since 2015, the Foundation has served more than 260,000 people in the agricultural sector.

  • The MEbA program, (Microfinance for Ecosystem-based Adaptation), provides vulnerable populations in rural and peri-urban areas with products, services, and guidance on how to adapt to climate change, with the ultimate goal of improving their finances. The project began in Colombia and has just begun to be deployed in the Dominican Republic.
  • Rural Finance and the Environment (known by its initials in Spanish, FRA), an initiative that has been developed in the Dominican Republic, includes the Agrocredit product, which won the 2017 Business and Finance Innovation Award, thanks to its promotion of financial inclusion and boosting the productivity and resilience of small farmers.  In addition, it has other green finance programs that invest in the protection of the environment, programs like AgroPyME (Agri-SME), Ecocredito, and Agromujer (Agri-woman). It also provides a financial education program for rural populations.
  • Crediverde (Green credit) is a line of credit in Colombia that provides people the opportunity to acquire eco-efficient technologies in rural or urban areas and looks to improve small businesses by giving them access to renewable energy.

It is worth noting that BBVA does not rely solely on the work of its Microfinance Foundation in order to meet the challenge of SDG2. It also spearheads initiatives like BBVA Bancomer’s food donations. The bank provides food for vulnerable groups by donating to five charitable institutions a portion of the food prepared in four of its corporate cafeterias.

Additionally, in Spain BBVA has its own dedicated “street” in the central headquarters of Madrid’s food bank. This is not merely a symbolic gesture: it is topped off by a €15,000 contribution from the bank to be used to cover the foundation’s 5-year costs associated with the distribution of food to the most needy. This is not the first time that BBVA has collaborated with the Food Bank. The Spanish Federation of Food Banks organized two campaigns: in 2012 “Your solidarity counts double” for which it received a donation of €96,000 and in 2014 “Giving the best” for which €713,000 was earmarked for the refrigerated transportation of perishable foods.

BBVA Bancomer provides food for vulnerable groups by donating food to five charitable institutions

Finally, BBVA has also participated in food collection campaigns organized in Madrid, Barcelona, and Bilbao. In 2017, more than 20 million kilos (44 million pounds) of food were collected in the the Madrid area from more than 560 charitable institutions. The same year, 190,000 people received “food aid” thanks to the good work done by this foundation.

Pledge 2025

BBVA’s Pledge 2025 is an initiative that falls within the context of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Spearheaded by the United Nations, the 17 SDGs are a universal cry, calling for the adoption of measures to end poverty, protect the planet, and ensure that all people enjoy peace and prosperity. Included among the priorities defined by the 17 goals are issues such as climate change, economic inequality, innovation, sustainable consumption, peace, and justice. On the whole, BBVA contributes to each of the SDGs, through the bank’s wide range of businesses across its global footprint, including the activity of its Microfinance Foundation.

BBVA: fighting hunger and supporting sustainable agriculture


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