Bangladesh, IFAD sign $16m deal to diversify agriculture

The project will focus on 14 districts in coastal and drought-prone regions and wetlands

Published : 23 May 2023, 10:22 AM
Updated : 23 May 2023, 10:22 AM

Bangladesh and the UN’s International Fund for Agricultural Development have signed a $16 million grant financing agreement to boost a project aimed at promoting climate resilience and diversifying agriculture.

In 2021, IFAD approved the Diversified Resilient Agriculture for Improved Food and Nutrition Security, a $31 million project proposed by the Ministry of Agriculture.

IFAD will supervise the project and the ministry will carry out the implementation with the UN’s Food and Agriculture Organization, and the Global Alliance for Improved Nutrition, providing technical assistance, according to a statement released on Tuesday.

Finalised at the Economic Relations Department in Dhaka last week, the four-year project will work in 14 districts in the coastal region, the drought-prone region, and the northern wetland 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 the income and nutrition of 420,000 women and men.

“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,” Arnoud Hameleers, IFAD country director for Bangladesh, said in the statement.

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, according to the statement.

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.