The RAIN project

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The RAIN project

The Realigning Agriculture to Improve Nutrition (RAIN) project is an innovative way of tackling the root causes of poverty and hunger.

With this new model, the focus has shifted to combine agriculture with nutritionhealth and gender programmes. With traditional aid programmes, these sectors would be running parallel, not side-by-side.

Download our reports

Click on the links below to download these policy briefs:

Chronic malnutrition

In Zambia, nearly every second child, or 45% under the age of five, are suffering from chronic malnutrition. This results in stunting and has long-lasting, irreversible effects on a child’s development. It leads not only to poor school performance, but low productivity and reduced income in adulthood. 

Agriculture component

In practice, RAIN supports families to diversify the food they grow in their homesteads and to rear small livestock such as goats and chickens. It encourages, a move away from the traditional practice of growing just one crop – in Zambia, that crop is maize. As a result, families enjoy a more diversified diet including many different vegetables, legumes, fruits and animal products such as meat, eggs and milk. 

Health and nutrition component

Community Health Volunteers are also trained to provide nutrition support to mothers in their villages. This helps communities to take control of their own health. Mothers are taught the importance of nutrition during the 1,000 days of a child’s life from conception up till the child turns two.They’re also shown how to prepare more nutritious meals for their children. There is so much more to the programme. This is just a glimpse of what is being done. 


The project has been developed as a sustainable and replicable model that can be adapted for implementation across Zambia and other parts of the world as well.

Sustainable benefits

Part of the strength of the project design, and the cornerstone of its future impact, is the thorough monitoring and evaluation component. This aims to bridge the gap in literature on the impact of agricultural interventions on nutrition. By closely monitoring each stage, challenges can be identified and methods adapted and improved for greater future impact.

Harvesting Nutrition award

The RAIN project was selected as the winner of SecureNutrition's 2013 Harvesting Nutrition award. Find out more about SecureNutrition.

News coverage

The reporter Judith Hill visited the RAIN project in Zambia. Watch her video reports, which appeared on UTV:

More information