Bangladesh has signed a financing agreement with the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) to boost a project aimed at promoting climate resilience and diversifying agriculture at the Economic Relations Department in Dhaka.
The Diversified Resilient Agriculture for Improved Food and Nutrition Security (RAINS) project, whose total size is $31 million, was successfully proposed by the Ministry of Agriculture (MOA) to the Global Agriculture and Food Security Program (GAFSP) in 2021.
IFAD will supervise the project, which will be implemented by MOA, with the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), and the Global Alliance for Improved Nutrition (GAIN) providing technical assistance.
The four-year project will work in 14 districts in the coastal region, the drought-prone region, and the northern Char region, supporting communities to build resilience to environmental and economic shocks.
By specifically targeting households most vulnerable to the impacts of climate change, RAINS will directly improve income and nutrition of 420,000 women and men.
Arnoud Hameleers, IFAD Country Director for Bangladesh, said, “Bangladesh has made remarkable progress in boosting food production for its growing population.
“Yet, many lack knowledge and access to nutritious food. Initiatives like RAINS, which promote diversified agriculture, may foster agricultural productivity and food availability and enhance overall nutrition status in the country.”
Activities include enabling farmers to adopt climate-smart and nutrition-sensitive technologies, achieved through integrated farming approaches.
The project will collaborate with the farmers' groups and production clusters to encourage on-farm diversification by mapping needs and disseminating integrated farming business models tailored to the specific needs of women and youth living in poverty and vulnerability.
Further, the project will promote innovative climate-smart water management by providing solar irrigation pump sets, drip irrigation systems, and rainwater harvesting facilities, enhancing water availability for irrigation and drinking purposes.