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

  • New poultry breeds make Santi Costa happy

  •   | 
  • 13/06/2014

Santi Costa (55) is a small farmer and member of the smallholder farmers collective (SHFC) of her village Sreekhondi in Natore district, Bangladesh. The SHFC is supported by SAF-BIN project since 2011. She is widow and housewife with three grown children. A core source of Santi Costa’s income is backyard poultry. Additionally her son contributes with his small income. She keeps local poultry. But in recent times, the animals did not produce sufficiently:

"In the last couples of years I could not get the amount of eggs I expected. Some of my poultry even died unexpectedly. What is the problem of and what can I do against this?"

This has implications on her economic stability and threatens her family’s food security. She was not alone with this problem. Other members of her SHFC shared her worries. The vulnerability of poultry farmers was increasing.

SAF-Bin staff discussed the issue with skilled farmers and a sub-district level Governmental livestock officer. High temperatures, an effect of climate change, were identified as the most probable reason as they lead to a higher rate of viral and bacterial of poultry. In a follow up SHFC meeting alternative poultry breeds Fayoumi and Sonali were identified as possible solutions. The SHFC members decided to extend support to Santi Costa for conducting an on farm trial of rearing of three breeds to be able to make a comparative assessment. She was chosen based on her experience with poultry rearing and to support her economic situation. The SAF-BIN team organized local, Fayoumi and Sonali poultry from Bonik poultry farm, Rajshahi district and funds for poultry feed. As Santi Costa received the animals, she had doubts on rearing new breeds in the backyard. The SAF-BIN team reacted by arranging various trainings for SHFC members (poultry management, cattle management, homestead vegetable cultivation) in which Santi Costa participated. Through these knowledge and skills she increased the trust in her own abilities and her self-esteem. Santi Costa took good care of her poultry and was further guided by the SAF-BIN team. She ensured timely vaccinations (against Ranikhet, foul pox and cholera).

After one (in June 2014) Santi Costa came to the conclusion that Fayoumi and Sonali breeds are more profitable than the local breed. She did not experience any problems during rearing of these new breeds in her backyard.  The new breeds produced five times more eggs (135 vs. 690) and hat the double growth rates compared to local poultry.

From the poultry income Santi Costa could purchased 140kg rice  to ensure her family’s food security. Poultry manure is used in her kitchen garden as fertilizer. Her daughter can now attend college regularly.

Mrs. Costa is very happy with the initiatives. Obseving the success 13 nearby farmers have also purchased Fayoumi and Sonal poultry breeds for rearing them in their backyards.

pictured: Santi Costa feeding her chicken at her home in Sreekhondi, Natore district, Bangladesh

© Caritas Bangladesh 2014