Smallholder Adaptive Farming and Biodiversity Network (SAFBIN)

SAFBIN is an action research programme from Caritas Organisations to address the issues of climate change and food security of smallholder farmers in South Asia. The programme aiming to achieve SDG 2, is inspired by the achievements and mutual learning process of the Caritas Partners in a successful previous phase of regional programme under the European Union Global Programme on Agriculture Research for Development (ARD).

SAFBIN is a multi-dimensional and multi-sector programme aimed to address the agricultural development challenges of developing and emerging countries. The innovative models piloted by the smallholder farmers from five rainfed Agro-Ecosystems (AES) in South Asia will be scalable and replicable in all similar Agro-Ecosystems. This programme will primarily contribute in achieving Sustainable Development Goal 2 of United Nations: “End hunger, achieve food security and improved nutrition and promote sustainable agriculture in South Asia”.

The overall programme will benefit about 40000 people living in 165 villages of 21 districts in Bangladesh, India, Nepal and Pakistan. The first phase of the programme will be implemented from April, 2018 in 95 villages of 11 districts, benefiting about 22000 people.

SAFBIN programme follows farmer led collective on-farm adaptive research, farming system and partnership approaches to empower the smallholder farmers in:

Caritas organisations part of this initiative are the official national organisations of the Catholic Bishops' Conference for social development in their respective countries. They are also members of Caritas Internationalis in Rome, which is a global confederation of 165 Catholic organisations working in humanitarian emergencies and international development. Implementing partners in South Asia are the members of Caritas Asia, which is also a strategic partner of this programme.

Caritas India, Caritas Bangladesh, Caritas Nepal and Caritas Pakistan will be implementing this programme in South Asia with the support of Caritas Austria and Caritas Switzerland. They will collaborate and partner with global and national research institutions, national agricultural research system and universities to implement this programme.


Case StudySafbin

To promote Local Food And Nutritional Security through Adaptive Small scale
Farming in four rainfed AES in South Asia in the context of climate change

  • Friendship with the climate

  •   | 
  • 15/07/2015

Delep Kumar Chakrabarti is a young smallholder farmer from Mohimapur Village of Naogaon District in Bangladesh. He lives in a small double story mud house with his wife and his 6 year old son. He has one acre of land which he cultivates throughout the year to feed his small family. His continuous involvement with Caritas Bangladesh developed him as a skilled farmer. Mr. Delep participates in the SAF-BIN project. He is engaged in leading fellow smallholders in the village to strengthen collective initiatives and on-farm adaptive research. During the project he has taken up trials on his farm testing the effectiveness of different management options to control of rice stem borer in 2013. He continued to assess the impact of a reduced number of seedlings on yield in 2014. Through the introduction of pulses and oil seeds he was able to increase stability, productivity and profitability of his T. Aman fallow cropping pattern. He is also a member of the District Farmer Forum promoted under the European Union co-financed SAF-BIN programme.

Mr. Delep very proudly shares that his wife Shantana Chakrabart is producing about 1,000 ducks in a small duck farm tightly squeezed in a corner of their homestead. The duck farming was not so profitable in the beginning and often suffered under seasonal duck diseases. They had to deal with heavy losses many times in the past mainly caused by insufficient know-how of duck farming.

His situation changed after he met with Dr. Md. Abdul Majid, Livestock Officer, Naogaon District during one of the District Farmer Forum meetings. He had an opportunity to have a one to one interaction with the livestock officer. The officer shared with a lot of information on duck farming practices with farmer Chakrabartiand. He also introduced and trained the farmes on the requirements of vaccination, medicine and maintenance of the duck farming unit. He also shared information on high yielding duck varieties like Khaki Campbell and Jinding. Farmer Chakrabartiands position as a District Farmer Forum member has provided him with the opportunity of close interaction with the livestock officer. Furthermore Delep Chakrabarti was quite excited to share that the livestock officer frequently calls him and enquire about his duck farming. Mr. Delep shared that this would neve have been possible without his leadership position at district level. He also shares learnings and skills with the fellow farmers in the village.

As a result of the improved knowledge and access to updated information, the mortality rates of the birds has reduced and egg production has increased. Shantana Chakrabart shared that their income from duck farming has increased and they have increased the number of birds on their farm.

In 2014  Delep Chakrabarti had the opportunity to participate in the Conference on Smallholder Farmers organised in coopeartion with SAF-BIN project in New Delhi and a SAF-BIN farmers learning exchange programme in India. This exposure gave him the confidence and motivation to take forward the issues of smallholder farmers in his district. Through his sharing of various climate resilient practices and the collective testing and experimentation within the community, the farmers have become friends with the climate.



picture: Delep Kumar Chakrabarti with the families flock of geese (c) SAF-BIN/Caritas Bangladesh

Authorship: Caritas Bangladesh

Editing: Romana Roschinsky (University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences, Vienna)