Photograph of INIA's garden

The National Institute for  Agricultural Research and Experimentation (INIEAF) was created in 1926, with the mission of coordinating all the studies conducted in our country in the areas of agronomy, forestry and animal husbandry. However, INIEAF was short lived, as in 1929 the Institute for Forest Research and Experimentation (IFIE) was created. Its headquarters were established in a wing of the Agricultural Institute Alfonso XII of Madrid University.

In 1931 the Spanish Laboratory of Fish Farming and Ornithological Forest Fauna was incorporated into the IFIE. During the Spanish Civil War, its facilities, laboratories and library were destroyed. Construction of a new building for the Institute was approved on a plot donated by the National Heritage on the El Prado hills, where INIA is presently located.

In parallel, the National Institute for Agronomic Research (INIA) was created in 1932 with the mission to coordinate and stimulate agronomic research and experimentation activities. Among its functions, INIA was in charge of disseminating, through publications, the results of the agricultural research and experimentation work executed by its centres.

Initially, INIA was part of the Directorate General of Agriculture of the then Ministry of Agriculture, Industry and Public Works. It was located at the agronomic sector of Madrid University, in the premises of the former National Institute for Agronomic Research (INIA) that was almost totally destroyed during the Spanish Civil War.

With respect to the animal husbandry area, the Directorate General of Animal Husbandry and the Institute of Animal Biology were created in 1931, structured in three main sections: Physio-Zootechnics, Animal Pathology and Assessment.

The Patronage of Animal Biology was created in 1952, chartered as an Autonomous Organization of the Ministry of Agriculture, integrated by the Services described above and the Institute of Artificial Insemination, which were granted technical autonomy in their management and organization according to the specific differentiation of their functions. Its mission was to promote, orient and coordinate the scientific and technical research towards the conservation, promotion and improvement of the national herd. As a result of the creation of the Patronage, the Institutes of Animal Biology and Artificial Insemination disappeared.

These three research institutions (IFIE, INIA and Patronage of Animal Biology) have been closely connected to the University throughout history through the respective Higher Technical Schools of Agricultural and Forestry Engineering of Madrid Polytechnic University and the College of Veterinary Medicine of the University of Alcala (Madrid).

In 1971, as a result of the merger of the National Institute for Agronomic Research, the Institute for Forestry Research and Experimentation and the Patronage of Animal Biology, the National Institute for Agricultural Research (INIA) was created, being assigned to the Ministry of Agriculture, later of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food.

En 1991 the INIA was renamed as National Institute for Agricultural and Food Research and Technology, widening its scope of action and its lines of investigation.

INIA today

In 2000 the INIA, along with the other Public Research Organizations, was assigned to the just created Ministry of Science and Technology and in 2004 to the Ministry of Education and Science. In 2008 it was assigned to the Ministry of Science and Innovation.

Presently, INIA is assigned to the Ministry of Science and Innovation. The INIA Presidency corresponds to the Secretary General for Research. As a Public Research Organization it has a dual function, being responsible for the management and coordination of agrifood research at the national level and for the execution of research projects, in close collaboration with the relevant socioeconomic sectors.