Concern Worldwide Zambia was showcased at the World Bank recently for its new approach to agriculture, the Rain project, which is funded by Irish Aid, Kerry Group, and the Bank of Ireland.
It prevents child stunting, through interventions mainly focusing on agriculture.
It has won the $5,000 category prize for “Greatest Potential Impact on Nutrition” in the Harvesting Nutrition Contest run by the World Bank’s SecureNutrition Knowledge Platform, in collaboration with the Global Alliance for Improved Nutrition and Save the Children UK.
The Rain project bridges the farm-to-table gap by improving productivity of nutritious crops, and ensuring the best food crops are grown and prepared.
Operating in Mumbwa District, Zambia, Rain has household-level integration and political realignment of agriculture and nutrition at its centre.
Nearly every second child under five years of age suffers from chronic under-nutrition in Zambia. Rain prevents child stunting through focusing agricultural activities on year-round availability of micro-nutrient rich foods from gardening and small-scale animal husbandry; borehole rehabilitation for year-round water; and measures to optimise health and nutrition Concern CEO Dominic MacSorley said: “Globally, child under-nutrition and mortality rates have been unacceptably high and we are delighted this award will bring wider recognition for a unique partnership between Concern and Kerry Group, with additional support from Irish Aid, on a project which integrates agriculture with early nutrition interventions, harnessing the expertise of both organisations to tackle this massive, but often overlooked, humanitarian issue.”
Kerry Group’s director of corporate affairs, Frank Hayes, added: “The Rain project is a pioneering initiative and one that is making a real and fundamental difference to young children from extremely poor backgrounds.”
Launched in 2011 by Agriculture Minister Simon Coveney, Rain has seen Kerry Group contribute €1.25m of the overall €3.7m budget for the five-year initiative.
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