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.


Safbin 11 06 / 2018

For Small Farmers Future - Ensuring food security in times of climate change in South Asia

Question: How can Smallholders become resilient to Climate Change?
Answer: By doubling farm production and income!
This sounds contradictory, in deed. However, there exists a plan, which brings exactly this seemingly impossible together. The magic word for it is: SAFBIN. SAFBIN stands for “smallholder adaptive farming and biodiversity network”. SAFBIN is a programme, which ensures food security in times of climate change for 7425 smallholder families (40.000 individuals) in four countries of South Asia within the coming four years.
Bangkok, 11th June, 2018: SAFBIN has been launched within the Caritas Asia Regional Conference “Share the Journey”. The Caritas directors of the SAFBIN countries Bangladesh, India, Nepal and Pakistan are convinced, that “we can end hunger within the next decade. SAFBIN is the ideal contribution to it”.
Is it possible? “It is, but that does not happen by itself”, adds Christoph Schweifer, Secretary General of Caritas Austria, the leading institution for SAFBIN. “And the key to the success is the active involvement of the smallholders. The donor-beneficiary relations will change completely. The smallholders will be beneficiaries and donors at the same time. And they themselves will become researchers” – as foreseen in the so-called On Farm Adaptive Research (OFAR) approach.
With more than 70 percent smallholder farmers in South Asia are the largest community, affected the most due to food worldwide insecurity caused by climate change. Hence, the future agriculture and the wellbeing of the region lies in their hands.

Safbin 01 04 / 2018

SAFBIN Programme is starting from today

The first phase of the new SAFBIN Programme is officially starting from April 01, 2018. The first phase planned for four years will contribute to SDG2: End hunger, achieve food security and improved nutrition and promote sustainable agriculture in South Asia.

This programme will be implemented by Caritas Organisations in 11 Districts of Bangladesh, India, Nepal and Pakistan. The programme covering 95 villages in these locations will reach out to more than 20,000 smallholder community members.

This programme is being supported by the Caritas Organisations in Austria and Switzerland. SAFBIN is also one of the Caritas Asia strategic programme.

Safbin 07 11 / 2016

We are back again…..

Caritas Austria has launched a preparatory phase to take forward the efforts of SAFBIN project. Dr. Yubak Dhoj G. C., Director General, Department of Agriculture inaugurated the programme. Most Rev. Paul Simick, Fr. K. B. Bogati, Director Caritas Nepal; Mr. Georg Matuschkowitz, Head of International Programmes, Caritas Austria; representatives from FAO, NARC, IAAS and Caritas Internationalis Members in Nepal participated in the session.

During the inaugural address Dr. Yubak Dhoj G. C. appreciated the interventions carried out during the previous project and emphasized on the importance of working with the smallholder farmers as they are adversely affected by the adversities of climate change. He also mentioned that the people of Nepal is apparent victims of climate caused mainly by other countries. He expressed his willingness to collaborate with the ongoing efforts of SAFBIN II.

The achievement of SAFBIN programme in Nepal and overall achievements at the South Asia level was shared with the participants. During the open session, participants shared inputs and suggestions for developing the SAFBIN II. Caritas Austria team shared the roadmap for developing the second

Representatives from Caritas organisations in Austria, Nepal, Pakistan, Bangladesh and Caritas India are working together to develop a common programme approach.

Safbin 06 04 / 2016

SAF-BIN master thesis covered in BOKU University Magazine

Gender perspectives in learning processes
All German speakers out there can read a short summary of the thesis our Master student Katharina Zangerle has recently finalized in the current BOKU Magazin. (pdf page 20!)

Katharina was supported by the Inge Dirmhirn Grant. This grant is awarded by the Equal Opportunity working group of BOKU - Universität für Bodenkultur Wien to support BOKU students thesis research focusing on gender and diversity issues.

Katharina was already the second BOKU Master student involved in SAF-BIN project that was awarded with this grant/price, the first one being Bernadette Mayr for her master thesis on gender aspects conducted in the SAF-BIN India project sites.

Safbin 01 03 / 2016

SAF-BIN Bangladesh Poster Gallery

During the 5 years of SAF-BIN project Caritas Bangladesh has developed a range of posters to illustrate various project outcomes and aspects. Take a look!

Safbin 01 03 / 2016

Good Agricultural Practices illustrated by SAF-BIN India

A collection of Good Agricultural Practice Posters now on the SAF-BIN flickr site:

The SAF-BIn team at Caritas India has illustrated good practices used and tested during the SAF-BIN project duraction in their project locations in an accessible format

Safbin 29 02 / 2016


46 SAF-BIN farmers from Sagar, Satna and Mandla districts came together for a state level dissemination workshop on February 26, 2016 at XIDAS, Jabalpur.

The state level dissemination workshop aimed to bring together all the Village Research Assistants and lead farmers of 30 villages to share their experience and achievements.

Mr. Sunil Simon, Project Manager, SAF-BIN evoked farmers to celebrate and promise to continue this effort and don’t let it die. During the 5 years of journey farmers have graduated in many practices and demonstrated scientific aptitude.

Research Officer Mr. Pradipta shared the 5 years overall achievements of the project which is running in Bangladesh, India and Nepal. Project was able to increase the food security for smallholder farmers from 6 months to 10 months and doubled the food basket of the farmers. Showing the 5 years upward trends of trial, demonstration and upscaling, Mr. Pradipta applauded all the farmers for constructively implementing this project.

One of the biggest achievements of the project was Farmer learning’s which not only extended beyond project areas but reached national and international arena. In Birpur village of Satna exhibited 360 degree spread in terms of technology Dissemination by way of fellow farmers, relatives, friends, acquaintances etc.
Ray Singh Maravi, a progressive farmers from Mandla shared that after adopting the line sowing techniques introduced by SAF-BIN he received 9 quintals of paddy by using only 32kg seeds, which is a so far a great production till now.

Santosh Yadav in his words shared that now we realized the importance of cow urine and cow dung. We are using organic botanicals in our field instead of purchasing chemical fertilizer from market and it is helping us to increase our production.
We had no group culture, but now we have formed a smallholder group and taking decisions collectively after discussions shared one of the farmer.

“Climate Change is unavoidable and adaptive measures taught by SAF-BIN will help us to practice agriculture in a better way” said Fr. George, Director, JDSSS, Mandla. He further stated that it s not a end of a safbin program but a new beginning as the learning’s taken in the past 5 years will be tested in our fields.

“SAFBIN gave direction to the people and now we need to continue this project with the farmers as they need more hand holding” expressed Fr. Thomas Philip, Director, MVSSS, Sagar while sharing his thoughts with farmers.

Speaking at the occasion Fr. Rony from Satna Social Service Society said that “Work should continue whether Project stays or not”. The learning from the project is the guiding principles and now we need to move forward.

SAF-BIN team of Caritas India felicitated the Directors of Sagar, Satna and Mandla for their continuous and unconditional support towards implementation of the project. They also acknowledged the contributions of Fr. Mathew Vattakuzhy and the former directors of Sagar, Satna and Mandla dioceses to this initiative.

Village Research Assistants from all the three districts were presented certificates for their involvement and voluntary contributions towards SAF-BIN program.

At the conclusion of the workshop Mr. Sunil shared that through this project we have worked on empowering the Smallholder Farmer Collectives to collectively discuss and take decision in a participatory manner.
We have been able to develop and successfully test Smallholder Collective Led On-Farm Adaptive Research which has revolutionalised the farmers involvement in agricultural research. The end of the SAF-BIN should be a new beginning for the smallholder farmers in their journey toward self reliance.

Safbin 27 02 / 2016


SAF-BIN was able to achieve 10 months food security for 4180 smallholder farmers in Bangladesh, India and Nepal. After the project implementation farmers are getting double the food item in their food basket and 273 Smallholder Farmer Collectives created in 90 villages by the project are functioning efficiently all the three countries.

SAF-BIN team from Bangladesh, India and Nepal gathered together at Vienna, Austria to document the final reporting and achievements of the project. The project was able to promote local food and nutritional security through adaptive small scale farming in South Asia in the context of Climate Change.

16 project personnel from program and documentation team including Caritas Austria worked on documenting the process and learning of the project. Team discussed the nature, content, guidelines and formats of different documents aimed towards exhibiting the achievements of the project.

Hosted by the project partner BOKU, University of Natural Resources and Life Science, 8 days workshop from 15-22, 2016 was facilitated by Mr. Pranab Choudhary in coordination with BOKU documentation personnel Ms. Romana and Ms. Barbara.

The team finalised the Students Research Summary document, a compilation of students research conducted at the SAF-BIN project. 30 student’s research from Bangladesh, India and Nepal is collated in this document. The research summaries are based on the prominent problems faced by the farmers of the SAF-BIN project. The summary defines the problem, its cause, methodology and recommendation to solve the problem.

Trial Matix is a culmination of learning’s from the On-Farm Adaptive Research conducted by the farmers in their field. The document will find the trial matrix of all the three countries, its problems, treatments, solutions and recommendations for its upscaling across similar agro-ecological conditions.

Model Fact Sheet is a consolidation of successful trial combinations emerged through On-Farm Adaptive Research. These models are effective solutions to enhance food security of the Smallholder Farmers in the context of climate change.

Best Practices document aims to cover the key innovation and best practices emerged from the project. The document will showcase the innovative solutions developed and tested by the smallholder farmers during the project. These unique solutions have emerged as knowledge products of SAFBIN.

Process Documentation document compiles the processes followed in the SAF-BIN project. This document provides a comprehensive analysis of the approaches and processes followed by the partners in Bangladesh, India and Nepal in achieving the project goals.

Discussions were also held on preparation of final reports as per the requirement of the European Union. Each responsible partners were allocated set of responsibilities and actions to be completed and submitted in adherence to the European Commission requirements.

Caritas Austria provided a sharing platform during the press event to SAF-BIN team and the African team who are running a Agriculture program to have informal sharing. During the event India team presented a booklet of SAF-BIN intervention in the Agrinatura Science days 2014 to Caritas Austria Secretary General, Mr. Christoph Schweifer and Mr. Michael Hauser, Director of the Centre for Development Research, BOKU University.

Safbin 12 02 / 2016


More than 800 farmers and guests from 5 blocks of the satna district participated in the mega fair organised by SAF-BIN programme under Caritas India.

Mr. Sandeep Sharma, Upper Collector and chief guest of the event that the whole food chain of humans are under threat due to excessive use of chemicals fertilizers and pesticides and only farmers can stop this by adopting sustainable agriculture practices. Due to this high doses of chemicals the crops have lost its self-immunity and there is less production whereby smallholder farmers are finding it difficult to sustain. He suggested to all the farmers that by adopting organic farming and sustainable agriculture practices this big problem can be reduced and the degradation of land water and agriculture can be saved.
Bishop Joseph, in his presidential address shared that he is very happy to see such a big gathering of smallholder farmers under one platform and told that the “farmers are our food suppliers” in hindi “Anndaata”. He appreciated the work taken up by Caritas India in 10 villages of Uncehara block setting up a base for other farmers to follow.
15 best farmers from 10 villages were honoured for their crop trials, experiments, new learning’s and adopting blend of traditional and modern sustainable agriculture practices.

The Agriculture Department has agreed to link farmers from 10 villages of SAF-BIN to the PKVY – “Parmparagat Krishi Vikas Yojana”, under Ministry of Agriculture, GOI. As already the project has 3 active farmers group in each village, hence 500 farmers will be benefitted by this scheme. All the support will be provided by ATMA- Agriculture Technology Management Agency, Agriculture department according to the guidelines mentioned in the PKVY scheme.

Exhibition stalls were set-up to showcase the learnings of SAF-BIN in 3 district. Farmers exhibited diverse farm produce and seeds of paddy, wheat, gram, minor millets (kodo, kutki, sama, ramdana), bajra, jowar, vegetables etc. Stalls were also set up from the Department of Agriculture, ATMA department, Child Line and Samaritans for disseminating information and knowledge among farmers. Stall from the Government Department sharing information on various schemes was a point of attraction.

The programme was attended by Mr. Sandeep Sharma, Upper Collector, Bp. Joseph Kodakallil- Bishop of Satna Diocese, Fr. Rony Varghese- Director SSSS, Fr. Robin, Mr. Ganesh Mishra - Agriculture Department, Mr. Ravi Singh Baghel - ATMA, Mr. Varghese Mathew and Ms. Sunita Tirkey from Caritas India and many other guests.

Safbin 10 02 / 2016

SAF-BIN project now has a Flickr site

We have compiled the first Album on our brand new Flickr site. It takes you on a visual journey through 5 years of SAF- BIN project.

Safbin 06 02 / 2015

SAF-BIN project covered by Caritas Internationalis Flickr

Caritas internationalis visited SAF-BIN project sites in Madhya Pradesh India. They have shared some impressions in their flickr gallery:

Safbin 04 02 / 2016


Farmers’ Fair was organized by the Strengthening Adaptive Farming in Bangladesh, India & Nepal (SAF-BIN) programme of Caritas India in Ghota Village of Mawai Block on February 03, 2016. SAF-BIN programme in India is working in Mandla, Sagar and Satna districts of Madhya Pradesh on building resilience of the smallholder farmers to climate change through strengthening adaptive farming.

More than 750 farmers from the three districts participated in the fair to exhibit their produce and share knowledge of adaptive farming practices. This fair provided the platform for the farmers to share the new and innovative practices in agriculture to ensure food security in rainfed areas in the changing climatic conditions.

Changa Das a farmer from Ghota Village of Mandla District shared that by adopting seed treatment and line sowing method I received double production from my land (received 1 quintal kodo from 4 kg seeds). SAF-BIN is promoting local food and nutritional security through adaptive small scale farming in four rainfed Agro Ecosystems (AES) in South Asia.

Citing the achievement of Madhya Pradesh for bagging the award of best agricultural state for the 4th consecutive year, Pandit Singh Dhurve, MLA of Mawai, and chief guest of the event emphasized on the need to replicate the initiatives of SAF-BIN in other areas of the state. Moved with the enthusiasm and cooperation generated through the programme, he assured his support in establishing Village level Farmers Resource Centres for storing common farm equipment’s and learning materials.

He visited the stalls and appreciated the efforts and achievements of JDSSS, Caritas India and the smallholder farmers practicing environment friendly, low cost and climate resilient farming practices. Sarpanch from the adjoining Panchayats of Mawai block also participated in the fair and shared their views.

Farmers from the project villages in Mandla and other areas shared their learnings and benefits received from the involvement in smallholder farmers’ collectives and on-farm adaptive research which was the core of this programme. The highlight of the exhibition was the preparation of 15 different food items made from maize by the women groups.

SAF-BIN South Asia Programme Manager Mr. Sunil Simon said that Farmers are the scientists and they have the capacity to identify and devise solution of their own problems. SAF-BIN was able to successfully establish farmers collective where farmers discuss their problems and devised solutions through trial plots.

The fair witnessed not only the testimonial achievements of the farmers but a trend of self reliance created by the project. Supported by European Union the project is Building Resilience to Climate Change through Strengthening Adaptive Small Scale farming system in Rain fed Areas in Bangladesh, India and Nepal. It is a multi-dimensional research that addresses the agricultural development challenges of developing and emerging countries.

Safbin 29 01 / 2016


Seed production training through pureline selection method of seed production was conducted in the Sagar and Satna district respectively on 5th January 2016 and 7th January 2016.

Due to lack of local initiatives to improve the indigenous varieties to adapt to the changing climate scenarios and production requirements, farmers have to often depend on hybrid varieties. This eventually results in loss of local and indigenous varieties, depleting diversity of indigenous and traditional varieties which has better adaptability to the local soil and climate. Overdependence on external sources limits the timely access of good quality seeds to the farmers. As part of the nutrition garden initiatives, SAF-BIN farmers have identified it as a major issue to overcome.

In order to address their demand, training was conducted for the farmers of SAF-BIN project villages in these districts to make them self-reliant and efficient in producing, improving and purelining their own seeds for the next seasons. Farmers nominated from each village participated in the training. The training was conducted mainly on brinjal, chilli and tomato crops as they are a very integral part of the Indian food and also they are the self pollinated crops. A total of 65 farmers participated in the training; out of them 11 were women farmers.

Pure line selection method is useful for all self pollinated crops. Pureline selection method involves a mass population of diverse plants and selection of promising ones from this population. The seeds from the selected plants are sown in line sowing method and the same method of selection is repeated till uniformity is achieved. Through this method the farmers can produce a uniform and improved variety within a span of two to three years. The training was conducted by Ms. Riny Jacob SAF-BIN Project Intern.

After the training farmers and VRAs were trained for producing improved seeds for the next season and were not dependent on market for the seeds, where VRAs in turn would be training farmers from their respective villages. Farmers showed interest in following the same selection technique of brinjal, tomato and chilli on different self pollinated vegetable crops at their field level.

Safbin 15 01 / 2016


The extensive use of synthetic fertilizers deteriorates soil fertility and its health. Bio fertilizers are one such alternative which promotes growth in soil by supplying primary nutrients to the host plant.

SAF-BIN organized six days Bio Lab training at MVSS, Sagar started on January 11, 2016. The bio lab will produce different bio fertilizers which are essential for organic farming. These bio fertilizers will help farmers in enhancing the plant growth and yield to improve the health and fertility of the soil.

Biofertilizers are defined as preparations containing microorganism that helps agricultural crops to uptake nutrients more effectively. The bio fertilizers are used as one of the critical components of the nutrient management and are easily renewable and cost effective. Farmers across the project villages will benefit from the bio lab products in near future.

The training was organized for 18 participants including 10 students from Vidisha College, 3 Village Research Associates, 3 MVSSS staff, District Project Officer and Project Intern.

Dr. Ramesh Singh from Voxx Lab, New Delhi trained the participants on Bio Fertilizers especially Rhizobium, Azatobacter, Azospirilium, PSB Culture which are helpful in promoting organic farming in large scale. He also shared that the cost of bio fertilizers are much less then the synthetic fertilizer which lowers the cost of agricultural activity in the field and improve economic condition of the farmers.

The training also covered the checking of suitability of desired culture for inoculation of the microorganism in the culture media for checking its purity and to free it from any possible contamination for the next stage.
The training will finalise the manual, operational guidelines along with the business plan for the bio lab.

Safbin 05 12 / 2015

EU Commissioned Result Oriented Monitoring of SAF-BIN programme concluded

European Union Commissioned, Senior ROM Expert Ms. Pascale Debord completed the Results Oriented Monitoring of innovation & research led SAF-BIN programme in India. As part of a weeklong exercise, she visited the SAF-BIN programme areas from December 1 – 5, 2015 in Sagar and Mandla districts of Madhya Pradesh. Interactions were organized with the SAF-BIN team, stakeholders, district farmers’ forum and the smallholder farmers’ collectives (SHFC). She visited the on-farm adaptive research trials conducted by the SHFC members, village and district resource centers. Community members shared the benefits of the action for improving their food security while addressing the issues of climate change. They shared that, with the knowledge support generated by harvesting traditional and conventional knowledge, farmers in the villages are enabled to take up small on-farm research in their farms to select more resilient cropping system suitable to their area. They have also shared about the instances where the knowledge generated by the project farmers have spread into the other villages. They have further shared that with collective action they are able to come together and mutually complement each other in addressing their problems. Seed banks, farming equipment’s and locally produced farming inputs have improved the condition of smallholders. The institutions developed around smallholder farmers have enabled them to have improved access to various stakeholders, schemes and provisions for them.
Fr. Paul Moonjely, Asst. Executive Director, Caritas India; Fr. Thomas Philip, Director, MVSSS, Sagar; Fr. George Thomas, Director, JDSSS, Mandla along with the SAF-BIN project team accompanied the visit of the ROM expert. She will be visiting the SAF-BIN programme implemented by Caritas Bangladesh and Caritas Nepal in the coming days. A overall debriefing meeting is planned on December 18, 2015 at Caritas India.

Safbin 03 12 / 2015

BIO-LAB facility in Sagar is inaugurated under SAF-BIN programme

Bio-lab facility developed by the District Farmers Forum in Sagar is inaugurated by Mar Anthony Chirayath, Bishop of Sagar. The facility is housed at Manav Vikas Seva Sangh (MVSS), Sagar. The facility will produce 19 bio-products for the use of smallholder farmers and cater to various parts of Madhya Pradesh. A structured training and rollout plan is prepared to ensure that the farmers are benefited from it.

Safbin 03 12 / 2015

Learnings of the SAF-BIN shared with more than 800 farmers in Sagar

Caritas India, under the Strengthening Adaptive Farming in Bangladesh, India & Nepal (SAF-BIN) project, in collaboration with Manav Vikas Seva Sangh (MVSS), Sagar organized a farmers\\\' fair on December 03, 2015 in Bararu, Sagar. A public session was organized as part of the programme which was well attended by the politicians, Govt. officials, civil society members and about 800 farmers from various blocks of Sagar.

Under the chairmanship of Mar Anthony Chirayath, Bishop of Sagar; Mr. Shailendra Jain, MLA, Sagar was the chief guest. Mr. Harvansh Singh Rathore, MLA, Banda; Mr. R Ramakrishnan, Chairman, Madhyanchal Grameen Bank and Dr. Diwakar Rajpoot, PRO, Central University, Sagar were the guests of honor.

Representatives from Agriculture Department, Horticulture Department, Animal Husbandry Department, Krishi Vigyan Kendra (KVK), Agriculture Technology Management Agency (ATMA), NABARD were the special guests during the event. Ms. Pascale Debord – ROM expert and Mr. Pranab Ranjan Choudhury, Consultant to SAFBIN, who is visiting the SAF-BIN programme also attended the programme.

Fr. Thomas Philip, Director, MVSS welcomed the guests and Mr. Sunil Simon – South Asia program Manager of SAF-BIN programme introduced the objectives of the farmers fair and shared the positive results of the interventions.

Mr. Shailendra Jain and Mr. Harvansh addressed the gathering and appreciated the work done by the SAF-BIN project and MVSS. They inspired the farmers to switch to organic farming from chemical farming. Also they informed the farmers about the schemes being introduced by the state and central government for farmers and their betterment. They committed their support to work for the smallholder in the area.

Dr. Rajpoot discussed about the importance of soil testing and shared about various Govt. Schemes promoting the soil testing. A social activist from Sagar, Mr. Pappu Tiwari urged the farmers to focus on integrated farming centered around livestock to address the issues of smallholder farmers. They also appreciated the work being done by MVSS in Sagar district.

An exhibition comprising 15 stalls were organized as part of the farmers fair to exhibit the learnings and products of smallholder farmers with the objective to impart knowledge to other farmers and the visitors. Farmers from SAF-BIN project areas in Satna and Mandla districts also demonstrated their learnings and products during the event. The best three organized stalls were judged by special guests during the public function.

Safbin 17 09 / 2015


Jaitu Singh Maravi, a smallholder famer from Bijatola village, Mandla District, Madhya Pradesh has increased the production of paddy by 250% using climate resilient practices. His family\\\'s food security has now increased from 4 months to 10 months. Jaitu Singh is a member of SAF-BIN Smallholder Farmer\\\'s Collective (SHFC) for the last 4 years. Sunil Simon, South Asia Programme Manager – SAFBIN shared during the half yearly review of the programme that, similar change stories are emerged from the project and the team is engaged in documenting and generating learnings.

21 participants including farmer leader, village research assistants, associate partners and project team attended the review meeting organized at XIDAS on September 02, 2015. Prior to the review, the team also visited the project villages in Mandla and interacted with the SHFC members. On-Farm Adaptive Research (OFAR) trials are being conducted by 34 SHFCs in Mandla on Paddy, Maize and Kodo millets to address the issues of climate change and food security.

Prof. (Dr.) Thomas Abraham, Nodal officer – SAFBIN, SHIATS shared that success of SAFBIN depends on farmers self reliance by taking their own decisions to solve their own problem “so use your learning and strengthen yourself”. Discussing on the prolonged drought spell during the monsoon season, he shared useful suggestions to farmers for saving their crop. He also suggested that in such situation, farmers should be proactive in selecting more resilient crops to ensure a productive season.

Farmers shared their learning\\\'s and also discussed about the sustainability of the project. The team also discussed the achievements during the last six months and the plan for consolidation phase.

Safbin 03 09 / 2015

SAF-BIN project presented at the World Symposium for Climate Change Adaptation (WSCCA) in Manchester

Chintan Manandhar (SAF-BIN National Coordinator, Caritas Nepal) has prepresented the SAF-BIN project in Session 2C Implementing Climate Change Adaptation in Communities, Cities, Countries and via Outreach Programmes of the WSCCA 2015.
The title of the presentation was:

access the slides on our publications site:

Safbin 02 09 / 2015

SAF-BIN at the 66th Annual Meeting of the European Federation of Animal Science (EAAP) in Warszaw, P

Our research on goat husbandry strategies has been presented at this international conference today. The presented work is based on master thesis research conducted by BOKU University students Christina Gerl and Bernadette Moser in SAF-BIN project sites in Kaski, Nepal. The research was supported trhough SAF-BIN project and SAF-BIN Nepal team from Cartias Nepal.

More information on our pulbications site:

Safbin 07 08 / 2015


Deputy Director of Agriculture, Mandla Mr. Netam released Posters on the learnings of Smallholder farmers trials under SAF-BIN project at Mandla district on August 6, 2015. The posters addresses the real time problems and effect of climate change on Paddy, Kodo, Maize and Potato crops and suggest use of low cost organic inputs to reduce its impact. The presence of Fr. George Thomas, Director JDSSS; President of District Farmers Forum, Farmer leaders of SHFC’s, NGO representatives; Mr. Adaita Ku. Mishra, APM-SAF-BIN & Mr. Sunil Pandey, DPO, SAF-BIN made this event more meaningful. During this occasion, smallholder farmers shared their learnings on posters. Impressed by the involvement and ownership of farmers in the programme, Mr. Netam encouraged the Smallholder Farmers Collective members to join the organic registration process by Madhya Pradesh Organic Certification Agency.

Safbin 28 07 / 2015


Organic farming is becoming more and more popular among farmers of Madhya Pradesh. 31 smallholder farmers of Sagar district from SAB-BIN project visited CESSS project in Amravati, Maharashtra for an exposure and cross learning to observe and learn organic farming practices.

In a 4 days training from July 22-25, 2015, farmers were encouraged to share their experience and knowledge. Hosted by CESSS, farmers were trained on Integrated Nutrient Management and Integrated Pest Management. Botanical pest control became more popular as it reduces input cost, increase production and prepared from locally available resources.

Farmers were given practical training on preparation of Lamit Ark, Fish Tonic, Jeevamrit, NPK, EM, Green Manure, etc. which not only saves the crop but increase the soil fertility in a natural way. This exposure was more meaningful as it encouraged farmers from different project to learn from each other.

Farmers have shared their experience as how they have turned barren land into green land through watershed management & agricultural practices.

Knowledge on Intercropping and mixed cropping were also shared with the farmers to manage the crop in undulating climate.

Safbin 23 06 / 2015

Caritas Nepal organised SAF-BIN District Forum meeting in Kaski District

The second meeting of the District Forum in Kaski District was organized in Hotel Royal choice, Pokhara-7, Santinagar, Pokhara in Kaski on 23rd June, 2015. The team shared the progress of SAFBIN project for the period from Nov, 2014 - May, 2015 and received feedbacks from the key stakeholders of the project. A total of 26 participants (Male-10; Female-16) from concerned stakeholders like DADO, NARC, RAD, LI-BIRD along with farmers representatives from 10 VDCs of Kaski district and project team actively participated in the meeting. During the meeting papers were presented by Mr. Kiran Basnet – Research Officer – SAF-BIN; Mr. Ram Ghimire, DPO – Kaski and Mr. Rosan Pudasaini, PC - LI-BIRD. Ramesh Koirala, Sr. Agriculture Development Officer, DADO, Kaski; Him Pd. Pathak, Sr. Scientist of NARC/ARC, Pokhara, Sr. Plant Protection Officer, Regional Agriculture Directorate(RAD), Pokhara and Rosan Pudasaini, PC, LI-BIRD, Pokhara shared opinions giving their valuable remarks in the meeting.

Safbin 02 07 / 2015


BRRI dhan62 zinc seed, an enriched and short duration (100 days) newly introduced rice variety was handed over to the Zillur Rahaman, Research Officer of Strengthening Adaptive Farming in Bangladesh, India and Nepal (SAF-BIN) Project under Caritas Bangladesh funded by European Union on 22 June, 2015. A total of 800 kg breeder seed of BRRI dhan62 received free of cost from the Bangladesh Rice Research Institute (BRRI) with the help of Dr. Md. Ansar Ali, Director (Research). Caritas Bangladesh distributed all these seeds to 250 smallholder farmers for seed production and use.

Safbin 09 07 / 2015


Farmers from Sagar, Satna and Mandla district of Madhya Pradesh were oriented on Integrated Pest Management at Xavier Institute of Management, Jabalpur (XIMJ) by SAF-BIN India team at Xavier Institute of Management, Jabalpur on July 3, 2015.

30 Small Holder Farmers Collective members gain information on integrated pest management and disease control by use of locally available resources, homemade remedies and recommended organic solution like Bavaria Basiyata, NPV Nucleus Polyhydrosis Virus and BT-1 recommended for fungal and bacterial.

Principal Scientists, Dr. S. B. Das and Dr. S. S. Bhagel from Jawahar Lal Nehru Krishi Vishwa Vidyalaya (JNKVV) contributed to the program as resource person.

The training provided a learning platform to raise and resolve queries regarding agricultural practices related to Rabi and Kharif seasons. This effort has facilitated the partnership between scientists and smallholder farmers to mitigate potential threat to agriculture in the region and transform towards sustainable crop management in an agro-ecological climate of Madhya Pradesh.

The discussion was focused on soil nutrient management, seed selection, crop selection, identification of insects and pest, preparation and application of integrated pest management practices. The farmers also shared their problems and field experiences and this program helped them to prepare themselves for their Kharif cropping plan.

Safbin 15 06 / 2015


South Asia Coordination Unit (SACU) of Strengthening Adaptive Farming in Bangladesh, India & Nepal (SAF-BIN) project organized the documentation workshop in Hotel Dhaka Garden Inn, Dhaka, Bangladesh from June 11 – 12, 2015. The workshop was inaugurated by Mr. Atul Sarkar, Asst. Executive Director, Caritas Bangladesh. Partner staff members from Austria, Bangladesh, India & Nepal participated in the programme hosted by Caritas Bangladesh. Dr. Md. Ansar Ali, Director (Research), Bangladesh Rice Research Institute (BRRI) along with Dr. Krishnapada Haldar, BRRI participated in the workshop.

Dr. Romana Rochinsky, Mr. Pranab Ranjan Choudhury, Mr. Sunil Simon & Mr. Patrick Hansda facilitated various sessions during the workshop. The team has drawn a time bound documentation matrix to consolidate the learning from the programme implemented during the past 4 years by Caritas Partners in South Asia. The team worked out strategies for increased media engagement, visibility and dissemination of learning from the programme.

The team also reviewed the progress of the software based End-Line survey of the program and suggested necessary modifications to finalise the survey formats. Caritas Bangladesh team provided feedback on the software after conducting the field test in Bangladesh.

SACU team comprising Mr. Pranab Ranjan Choudhury, Consultant and Mr. Sunil Simon, South Asia Programme Manager visited the SAF-BIN project implemented in Naogaon District from July 13 -15, 2015 and discussed with the Smallholder Farmers and SAF-BIN team on the progress and learning of the programme. Mr. Augustin Baroi, Sr. Manager, ECD facilitated the programme.

Safbin 03 06 / 2015

Grant awarded to SAF-BIN Master student

Bernadette Moser, currently conducting her master thesis within SAF-BIN project at BOKU University Vienna has been awarded a grant of the Austrian Academic Social Society (ASAG). The grant support the finalization of her master thesis on goat breeding strategies of smallholders participating in SAF-BIN.

Safbin 28 05 / 2015


In a recent meeting with the Collector of Mandla, Assistant Program Manager – SAF-BIN, Mr. Adaita appraised him about the achievement of the program. He shared about 30 Smallholder Farmers Collectives (SHFC’s) functional in Mandla District. He shared that district forum comprising SHFC members from different parts of the district is actively taking up On-Farm Adaptive Research on various major crops in Mandla. As a step further, District Farmers Forum displayed and sold quality seed products during the Biodiversity Green Haat organized by Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change in Delhi. SHFC members are actively engaged in addressing the issues of climate change and food security in Mandla, which is one of the most remote and underdeveloped districts of Madhya Pradesh. In a recently held District Farmers Forum meeting, farmer discussed on the rabi trial learnings, sustainability of the programme, village wise progress status, and Kharif trials on Paddy, Kodo and Maize. The farmers showed interest in kharif vegetable and it was unanimously decided to provide 450 vegetable kits to all the SHFC members and kitchen garden tool kits to women SHFC members. Collector showed his positivism about the program and assured his full support for the sustainability of the SHFC members. Mr. Adaita requested his participation in the Farmer’s fair for his valuable inputs and detail understanding of the program.

SAF-BIN is an action research initiative seeking to contribute to local food & nutritional security in some of the impoverished regions of the world critically vulnerable to climate change. The programme is under the European Union Global programme on Agriculture Research for Development (ARD). This action is primarily a civil society attempt to fill the gap in research and extension support to Smallholder farmers (SHF) and also to help examination of their Food Production, Distribution and Consumption System (FPDCS) in the context of climate change and nutritional security.

The program is giving more emphasis on smooth and timely implementation of activities for the target villages. During the SHFC meetings at Shivrampur and Akahi village of Satna District due focus was given on strengthening of Village Resource Centres (VRCs) by forming Executive Committees. 105 out of 150 structures of vermi-compost, Azolla tank and cow sheds are completed in Mandla district. Quality check was done on the construction activities of vermi-compost, Azolla tank and cow shed structures.

Safbin 06 05 / 2015

SAF-BIN program to use tablet based survey to capture the end term results

A tablet based survey software is developed for the end term survey of the SAF-BIN program. The “SpatiaNet Surveyor” software specially developed for the purpose will be used by SAF-BIN team in India, Bangladesh and Nepal to collect the endline data.

An orientation training was organized by SACU to finalise the tools and demonstrate the software with the team members in YMCA, New Delhi from May 5-6, 2015. The oriented was facilitated by SACU Consultant Mr. Pranab Choudhury to use the software in the field. The software will collect structured data by using tablet computers through data entry tools. District Project Officer\\\'s will collect the data in the software with GPS location ensuring more authenticity of the data. This will minimize error, enhance efficiency and will help in collection of better quality data.

The training focused on streamlining the data collection and analysis process of the project. It was interesting to learn the data entry work through the software, as this is the first time that such type of Survey has introduced in Caritas India for Household Survey which also help to reduce the Carbon Print.

Safbin 14 03 / 2015

SAF-BIN Nepal featured on

SAF-BIN Nepal has been sharing some experiences on \\\"Climate fears force big changes on small South Asian farms\\\".

Read more:

Safbin 20 01 / 2015

Conference on smallholder farmers at IIC, New Delhi from March 10 - 12, 2015

The conference on smallholder farmers will be organised at IIC, New Delhi from March 10 - 12, 2015. The Conference focuses on “Resilient Future for Small Farmers”. This initiative under the Strengthening Adaptive Farming in Bangladesh, India & Nepal (SAF-BIN) programme and organised by the SAF-BIN South Asia Coordination Unit, Caritas India, Council for Social Development (CSD) and other civil society organizations. The conference addresses the issues and challenges of smallholder farmers in the context of climate change.
The deliberations during the conference is expected to draw together the efforts of various stakeholders and smallholder farmers to share innovations, good practices and potentials for building a resilient future for smallholder farmers.

Safbin 21 10 / 2014

Video ressource featuring SAF-BIN team members: How will agriculture look like in 2030? l agrinatura

Watch this short video by AGRINATURA:

What type of agriculture and food systems do we wish to see in 2030? With Michael Hauser, Paul Kibwika, Judith Francis, Carolyn Glynn, Detlef Virchow, Patrick Caron, Sukleash Costa (of SAF-BIN project Bangaldesh), Sarah Mayanja, Susan Kaaria, Adipala Ekwamu and many others...

The agrinatura Science Days brought together researchers and practitioners concerned with family farming, food security and transformative change in a single forum. The science days, hosted by the University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences, Vienna, offered a unique opportunity for dialoguing, learning, networking and exploring new research and higher education partnerships. Results of the Science Days contribute to the agrinatura strategy and support the International Year of Family Farming.

AGRINATURA is the alliance formed by 31 European universities and research organisations working in agricultural research, education, training and capacity strengthening for development.

Concept l Camera l Postproduction: Walther Pohl
Camera: Walther Pohl, Nora Faltmann

agrinatura Science Days were supported by Commission for Development Studies, Caritas, SAFBIN, VIDC, Austrian Development Cooperation, GoFair, City of Vienna, Lebensministerium.

(c) agrinatura 2014

Safbin 21 10 / 2014

EU delegation visiting SAF-BIN project sites in Nepal

It was a big day for Caritas Nepal and SAF-BIN team. A very high profile visit was made to the SAF-BIN project site of Mainapokhar VDC, Bardia, Nepal by high level European Union team which included the EU commissioner on Development Mr. Andris Piebalgs, member of cabinet Mr. Domenico Rosa, spokesperson Mr. Alexander Polack, EU ambassador to Nepal Ms. Rensje Teerink, officers from CARE Nepal, UNICEF, NCCSP, district leaders and many others.

The team visited the farmer led action research in rice fields and interacted with the farmers. The farmers told that the drought tolerant rice varieties Sukkha dhan 1, 2, and 3, promoted in the location by SAF-BIN, have helped them to increase their food secured months per year through increasing the rice yield. The farmers have even started to sell these rice varieites on the market because of the high demand and better prices compared to other rice varieties.

The EU team also visited the local field office in Mainapokhar and interacted with the SAF-BIN staff and the local farmer community. Close to the local SAF-BIN office the delegation visited the community managed vegetable nursery and demonstration plot.
‘I am very impressed with the tangible activities of Caritas Nepal to help poor farmers and
uplift their livelihood in a very simple way. European Union will keep on supporting countries like Nepal for these reasons in coming days’, the commissioner remarked during the interaction. The EU ambassador to Nepal expressed her happiness after learning that Caritas doesn’t encourage the farmers to use chemical pesticides in their vegetable gardens but instead promotes the locally available botanicals and integrated pest management (IPM) technologies.

The team also observed the project supported improved cowshed in which livestock urine is collected, waste water collection drums, seed storage bins (Deheri ) for collective rice and wheat storage, farm equipment, weeding machine and local botanical pesticides prepared by the farmers with keen interest.

When asked by the commissioner about what kind of support the farm communities expected from EU in the future, almost all the farmers asked about an extension of the SAF-BIN project or similar initiatives which would help them to improve their agricultural activities and livelihood.

The team spent about an hour in the project site before thanking all Caritas staffs and the community for their warm welcome and hospitality.

I thank the whole Caritas team (administrative, finance and field staff from Central and Guleria field offices) for this successful visit.

Chintan Manandhar, SAF-BIN Research Officer, Nepal

Safbin 13 06 / 2014

Tribal Farmers Revive Millet Cultivation - SAF-BIN in EU India Delegation India newsletter

SAF-BIN interventions are discussed in the May newsletter of the Delegation of the European Union to India. Read more on the EU delegation website ( or also in our SAF-BIN blog (

Safbin 10 07 / 2014

New resources available on SAF-BIN homepage

Check out our publication page for new information on research that is happening within SAFBIN project. See more at: And come back for updates!

Safbin 17 06 / 2014

See what SAF BIN project staff did during the AGRINATURA Science Days in Vienna Austria

For some impressions of the conference activities and how SAF BIN project was represented visit the photogalery at:

Also: do not miss the information abour the SAF-BIN speakers:

- Mr. S. M. Zillur Rahaman, Research officer in SAFBIN Bangladesh (standing in for Sukleash George Costa) presented: From one harvest to three (Abstract:

- Mr Shankar Bhattarai, National Program Coordinator - SAFBIN Nepal, presented: Adapting to Climate Change in Nepal: Observations from Bardiya Farmers (Abstract:

- Mr. Sunil Simon, SAFBIN South Asia program manager, presented: Farmers collective led on - farm adaptive research: an effective approach for building resilience to climate change (Abstract:

Safbin 11 06 / 2014

SAFBIN story covered in the e Newsletter of the European Union

A case story from the SAF-BIN project \\\"Tribal Farmers Revive Millet Cultivation for Food Security\\\" is published in the May edition of the e-Newsletter of the Delegation of the European Union to India. Given below is the link to the article:

More updates on the work of European Union in India is available at

Safbin 07 05 / 2014

More insights of SAF-BIN at AGRINATURA Science Days, Vienna Austria

During the AGRINATURA Science Days organized by AGRINATURA, hosted by the University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences, Vienna, in cooperation with Caritas Austria, ADA (Austrian Development Agency), KEF (Commission for Development Research) and VIDC (Vienna Institute for International Dialogue and Cooperation) SAF-BIN\\\'s own South Asia Programme Manager Sunil Simon has presented on \\\"Farmers collective led on-farm adaptive research: an effective approach for building resilience to climate change\\\". For more details and an abstract of his talk visit:

Safbin 06 05 / 2014

SAF-BIN Members sharing their stories at the AGRINATURA Science days

During the AGRINATURA Science Days organized by AGRINATURA, hosted by the University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences, Vienna, in cooperation with Caritas Austria, ADA (Austrian Development Agency), KEF (Commission for Development Research) and VIDC (Vienna Institute for International Dialogue and Cooperation) National Project Coordinator Shankar Bhattarai of SAF-BIN Nepal and Research Officer S. M. Zillur Rahaman of Caritas Bangladesh have shared their SAF-BIN experiences with international researchers, civil society and other actors of the Agricultural Research for Development world. For more details and abstracts of their stories visit:

Safbin 05 05 / 2014

SAF-BIN represented in the Panel Discussions during Agrinatura Science Days

Fr. Paul Moonjely, Assistant Execuive Director of Caritas India represented SAF-BIN programme and shared about his experience on the smallholders marketing scenario and initiative in South Asia in the panel discussion on “Enabling Smallholder Farmers to participate in Market” on May 05, 14 during Agrinatura Science Days. He also shared numerous successful smallholder marketing initiatives in South Asia. He highlighted the aspects of 4Ps of Marketing (Product, Price, Place, Promotion) and the challenges connected therewith for the smallholders in the marketing.

Referring to the lessons learned by the Austrian Development Cooperation (Shared by Dr. Martin, MD, ADC), Fr. Paul reiterated that the issues of the smallholder farmers are unique and identical worldwide. What is imminent and imperative is to create institution and policy framework for creating enabling environment for the smallholder farmers for meaningful participation in the market and thereby address the concerns of poverty.

He was the panellist in the discussion along with Dr. Joseph, Rector – BOKU University; Dr. Martin, MD, ADC and Dr. Micheal Hauza, Chair person, Agrinatura and Dr. Sara, International Potato Centre (IPC), Uganda; which was moderated by Dr. Judit Ann Francis, Senior Programme Coordinator, Science & technology Policy, Technical Centre for Agricultural and Rural Cooperation.

Safbin 02 05 / 2014

SAF-BIN at the AGRINATURA Science Days

The AGRINATURA Science Days are organized by AGRINATURA, hosted by the University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences, Vienna, in cooperation with Caritas Austria, ADA (Austrian Development Agency), KEF (Commission for Development Research) and VIDC (Vienna Institute for International Dialogue and Cooperation), taking place from 5 to 7 May 2014.

The AGRINATURA Science Days focus on following topic

Growing together
Family farming and agricultural sciences
transforming world food systems

Safbin 11 04 / 2014

Caritas India & SHIATS reviewed the progress of SAF-BIN research scholars

Mid-term review of research studies carried out by the research scholars under SAF-BIN programme of Caritas India was organized at Sam Higginbottom Institute of Agriculture, Technology and Sciences (SHIATS), Allahabad on April 11, 2014. A team of experts comprising SAF-BIN team members and the students advisory committee participated in the review of progress in four research studies carried out by the students. Prof (Dr.) Thomas Abraham, Professor – Agronomy and Nodal Officer – SAF-BIN; Mr. Sunil Simon, South Asia Programme Manager – SAFBIN; Prof. (Dr.) P.W. Ramteke, Dean, PG Studies; Prof. (Dr.) Gautam Ghosh, Dean, Allahabad School of Agriculture; Prof. (Dr.) P.J. George, Professor - Agronomy and shared their inputs during the workshop. The team discussed the latest trend of climate change and its effects on the food security of smallholder Farmers in South Asia.

All the four student researchers supported by SAF-BIN project presented their research study conducted during Kharif Season of 2013. SAF-BIN team and the student advisory committee members shared their feedback for improving and finalizing their research analysis and findings. A revised plan for each student is also prepared during the workshop to complete the research study by June, 2014.

Safbin 13 10 / 2013

Caritas Austria President Mr. Franz Küberl Lauds SAFBIN Efforts

“Smallholder farmers can achieve food security and self-sufficiency with their traditional and innovative agriculture practices that have the potential to solve the adverse effects of climate change”. Caritas Austria president Mr. Franz Küberl observed this while addressing the farmers’ fair organised by Caritas India in Satna on 12 October. The conclave of smallholder farmers who are engaged in adaptive agriculture practices in three districts of Madhya Pradesh was organised as part of the ‘Strengthening Adaptive Farming in Bangladesh, India and Nepal’ (SAFBIN) programme. Implemented by Caritas India, SAFBIN is jointly supported by European Union (EU) and Caritas Austria.

Citing the severity of agriculture losses suffered by farmers across the globe due to climate changes, Mr. Franz underscored the need of identifying local solutions for making smallholder farming systems more viable and profitable. “Developing an effective agriculture practice based on the synthesis of modern agriculture methods and local wisdom holds key to the success in the efforts to achieve food security of smallholder farmers”, Mr. Franz said. He appreciated Caritas India for leading the campaign for protecting the livelihood and food security of smallholder farmers in the region. “Quality of life of smallholder farmers is dependent on the adaptability of farming system and the immunity of smallholder farming systems to the vagaries of climate. If we do not make local farming systems robust and sustainable, we will live in poverty which will only push our future generation into greater poverty”, Mr. Franz added.

The farmers’ fair was organised for facilitating the exchange of learning and experience of smallholder farmers who are implementing various trial combinations of paddy, wheat and black gram. Over 400 smallholder farmers from Mandla, Sagar and Satna districts attended the fair and shared the learning and experiences emerging from the three rounds of trials. The farmers fair also showcased the innovations developed by farmers, various trial design illustrations and farm produces.

Mr. Christoph Schweifer, General Secretary of Caritas Austria, spoke on the occasion and shared his experiences about the general struggles of smallholder farmers. “Smallholder farmers need to have thorough understanding about the various dimensions of climate change and its effects”, Mr. Christoph said. Developing sustainable solutions for combating the ramifications of climate change on agriculture is possible only when communities work concertedly and purposefully. Modern agriculture has made creditable advancements in the direction of mitigating the detrimental climate change effects on agriculture. He expressed hope that SAFBIN will emerge as a platform of communities for technology dissemination which will eventually lead to greater well-being of smallholder farmers.

Mr. Manfred Aichinger, Project Manager of Caritas Austria shed light on the symbiotic relationship between agriculture practices and the prosperity of smallholder farmers. He said that SAFBIN envisages not only the achievement of agriculture prosperity of smallholder farmers but it also seeks to realise better indicators in the sectors of education and health. He appreciated SAFBIN programme for creating an understanding on climate change among smallholder farmers and enabling them to develop locally viable and cost-effective solutions.

SAFBIN is an agriculture research and development programme which is being implemented in three agro-climatic zones in India, Bangladesh and Nepal. In India, the research trials on food crops are underway in Sagar, Satna and Mandla districts. Mr. Sunil Simon, South Asia programme manager of SAFBIN informed that SAFBIN is a comprehensive agriculture research intervention steered by smallholder farmers’ collectives. The intervention process includes community-level problem screening, scouting of innovations practiced by communities, screening of solutions proposed by mainline agriculture research, blending of solutions, development and refining of trial designs, trial implementation, community analysis and development of candidate models. SAFBIN also strives to restore the sovereignty of local agriculture systems by identifying and promoting traditional knowledge and practices which have great potential to offer solution to the riddle of climate change, Mr. Sunil added.

Later, Mr. Franz distributed sprayer pumps to the representatives of Small Holder Farmers’ Collectives (SHFCs). During the programme, SHFCs staged cultural programmes including songs, folk dances and street play. The delegates from Caritas Austria also visited the stalls where smallholder farmers from Sagar, Satna and Mandla had displayed their innovative equipment, trial plot harvest details and agriculture produces including spices, herbs, yams, tubers and vegetables. After attending the farmers\\\' fair, Caritas Austria delegation visited paddy trial plots and reviewed the progress of implementation of paddy trials.

Fr. Mathew Cheruvil, director of Samaritan Social Service Society (SSSS) Satna and Mr. Atul Gautam, local village headman, also spoke on the occasion and appreciated the success of SAFBIN which manifested in the form of greater yield and reduced agriculture input cost for the smallholder farmers. Mr. Vivek Tripathi, district project officer of SAFBIN, conducted the programme.

Safbin 24 09 / 2013


Caritas India has organized a cross visit of the lead smallholder farmers’ of SAFBIN programme to the on-farm adaptive trials in Mandla & Satna Districts. The purpose of this interaction among farmers from Sagar, Satna and Mandla districts were to have cross learning from the intervention in each districts and community initiatives. This was an opportunity also for farmers to share the learning’s and the experience from the trial’s. On-farm interactions of the farmers have helped them to understand the particular trial scenario and compare it with the situation in their respective districts. They have discussed the climate conditions and the problem faced by them in the agriculture sector. They have also discussed on the agricultural practices and coping mechanisms adopted by the farmers.

Farmer’s also interacted with the SHFC group of the villages and discussed about the trials in Paddy and Kodo (a minor millet) crops. The team from Sagar and Satna visited Bijatola, Jaitpuri, Baigakhera and Bhadwar villages of Mandla district on September 20, 2013 and the team from Sagar and Mandla visited Shivrampur, Akaha, Akahi, Matripatura, Dhane, Itmakala villages in Satna on September 24, 2013. Farmers visit was facilitated by Mr. Valentine Pankaj Denis, Research Officer – SAFBIN and hosted by Mr. Sunil Pandey District Project Officer – Mandla and Mr. Vivek Tripati, District Project Officer – Satna respectively in Mandla and Satna districts.

On a meeting with the SHFC members, the visiting farmers’ discussed on the advantages of trials, practices and innovations, impact of shifting to organic inputs, functioning of SHFC and the initiatives of the collectives. The farmer’s shared about their experiences of the current monsoon season and expressed their views on the changing climate. Farmers’ from Sagar learned about the cultivation, package of practices and the organic application in paddy. They have also discussed and learned the organic preparations, application rate and its effects experienced by the farmers’ from Satna. They have also discussed with the female SHFC farmers’ about their contribution and involvement in the trials and meetings. The team also visited the trial plots and the plots where farmers are replicating the selected practices from the previous trials.

In the course of on-farm discussion, farmers’ have learned how to reduce the cost of cultivation and can still have better crop. Farmers’ from Mandla keenly discussed on the Kodo demonstration and learned from the weeding practice in Kodo crop in Satna. Farmers’ have also noticed that the smallholder farmers after completing the two trial cycles have started bringing changes in their farming practices and they are opting for environment friendly and sustainable options.

Safbin 13 08 / 2013

DDM NABARD distributed Farmers Kit to Smallholder Farmers Collectives (SHFC)

In an event organized at Jeshu Bhawan at Sahgarh block of Sagar District, Mr. Ayush Shivpuri, DDM NABARD, Sagar distributed 50 Spray pumps to 30 Smallholder farmers Collective’s (SHFC) from the SAFBIN project villages. He was accompanied with Father Saju Devassy, Director, MVSS, Sunil Simon, Caritas India and Sarpanch of Sahgarh. Mr. Ayush Shivpuri gave an encouraging note about the intervention and the trials conducted in project villages of Sagar and urged the people to give their cooperation and support. He also shared about the importance of organic farming practices for sustainable and environment friendly agriculture. Mr Sunil Simon also encouraged the people to go for adaptive farming system which will help them cope with the climatic flux and drastic climate changes. Fr. Saju shared about the collaboration of Caritas India and MVSS and their plans to develop forward linkages for the SHFC groups with NABARD for its sustainability and growth. SHFC members shared their experience and learning from the trials. They have also shared about their decision to upscale the intervention in a big scale from this season. More than 120 SHFC members from Sagar District participated in this event.

Safbin 13 08 / 2013

Smallholder farmers in Madhya Pradesh shared their learning from OFAR Trials

A farmers’ exchange programme was organized in Sagar on August 13, 2013 as part of the Strengthening Adaptive Farming in Bangladesh, India and Nepal (SAFBIN) programme of Caritas India. A team of 10 members each from Satna and Mandla Districts consisting of members of Smallholder Farmers’ Collective (SHFC) and Village Research Assistant (VRA) visited Sasan, Vanpura, Hanumantora and Amarmoe project villages. The team consists of the SHFC farmers from Satna and Mandla Districts who were involved in the trials conducted in the Kharif and Rabi season. The VRA of respective villages were also present with the team.
The team interacted with SHFC members and trial farmers and mutually shared their experience from the trials conducted in their respective villages. They have also discussed about crops grown in their area and different methods of cultivating it. Farmers also exchanged information on methods of Paddy, Wheat, Black gram and Millet cultivation. Farmers who practiced SRI and SWI techniques shared their experiences and learning. They have also discussed about the changes in the climate and its effects on agriculture. Minor millets like kodo, kutki and ragi were also point of discussion during the interaction where they also agreed to share the traditional varieties to farmers in Sagar for cultivation.
On-field discussions were also held during the visit to the trial plots in each village. SHFC members shared their experience from the Kharif trials on Black Gram. They have also discussed the process of refining of trials for the Kharif season by SHFC members. They have also discussed on the challenges faced during the trial design and during the implementation. A total of 75 farmers participated in the exchange programme. SAF-BIN is following Farmers Collective Led Approach in conducting On-Farm Adaptive Research.

Safbin 04 07 / 2013

Quarterly Review Meeting of SAFBIN

Wheat cultivation models developed by Caritas India’s SAFBIN programme registered up to 275 per cent increase in production and brought down the input cost by up to 80 per cent. This information was shared during SAFBIN’s quarterly review meeting held in Sagar on 4 July 2013. The review meeting, attended by SAFBIN teams from 3 districts and representatives of partner organisations, took stock of the progress of monsoon crop trials being implemented for developing climate change resilient models of wheat, black gram and paddy cultivation.

Successes of winter crop season trials and plans for Kharif trial implementation were also shared during the review meeting. SAFBIN team presented the analysis of Rabi trials on wheat and vegetables and the superior performance of trials over farmer’s plots in terms of productivity and resistance to pest attacks. Smallholder farmers, encouraged by the trial successes, have decided to adopt the package of practices of successful models and replicate these models on bigger plots.

Mr. Saju MK, national programme coordinator, welcomed the participants and gave an overview of SAFBIN programme. “Caritas India is committed to securing food and nutrition security of smallholder farmers by helping them develop agriculture models that are environmentally sound and climate change resilient. SAFBIN programme is an innovative intervention of Caritas India for making small farming profitable and sustainable”, Mr. Saju said. He further said that the monsoon crop trials on wheat, paddy and black gram will focus on the severest vulnerabilities identified by small holder farmers. Fr. Shaju Devassy, director of Manav Vikas Seva Sangh (MVSS), in his keynote address appreciated Caritas India for the innovative intervention to address climate change threats to agriculture. He underscored the necessity of assisting small farmers in identifying and implementing agriculture models that are robust enough to deal with the challenges of climate change.

Strengthening Adaptive Farming in Bangladesh, India and Nepal (SAFBIN) is a European Union (EU) supported agriculture research and development programme that seeks to develop sustainable agriculture models that can withstand the perils of climate change. Analysis of the completed trials prove that the candidate models developed by SAFBIN are more robust, resilient and locally viable in the context of climate change and its adverse effects on small farming systems. Small holder farmers developed candidate models by conducting trials which combine good practices of traditional and modern farming systems. SAFBIN also creates village level reflection platforms for smallholder farmers who depend on rain-fed farming for subsistence. The project is being implemented in ten each villages of Mandla, Sagar and Satna districts of Madhya Pradesh.

District officers informed the review meeting that the trials have generated tremendous interest among small holder farmers and large number of smallholder farmers have decided to adopt the ‘blended’ solution for meeting threats posed by climate change to agriculture. All trials in the last three seasons were blended agriculture models which incorporated the positives of mainline agriculture research and traditional farming practices of communities.

SAFBIN, this year, is also focusing on reviving cultivation of Kodo millet which used to be the main pillar of food security of a sizable chunk of population, especially the tribal communities in Central India. However, in the past couple of decades, cultivation of Kodo had drastically declined thereby exposing a large section of rural population to risks of food and nutrition insecurity. Trials of Kodo millet cultivation using indigenous varieties and local inputs will be implemented in all three project districts. Apart from conducting trials on food grain and Kodo millet, SAFBIN is also promoting the cultivation of Moringa Oleifera, fruit trees, tomato and okra.

The review meeting concluded with the vote of thanks by Mr. Saju MK.

Safbin 25 05 / 2013

SAFBIN India Organises Agriculture Innovation Scouting Workshop

The widespread feeling of despair among smallholder farmers in the wake of climate change is often attributed to the persisting dominance of input-intensive modern agriculture over resilient traditional agriculture practices. Caritas India organised a 3-day workshop on innovation scouting for identifying traditional agriculture solutions for the perils posed by climate change to smallholder farming systems. The event attended by SAFBIN team members, smallholder farmers and community leaders was held in Sagar from 22 to 24 April 2013.

The 3-day workshop also featured several rounds of community reflection and participatory analysis which were held in the targeted villages of Sagar district. SAFBIN programme, supported by European Union (EU) and Caritas Austria, is working in the rain-fed agro ecological zones of India, Bangladesh and Nepal for securing the food and nutrition security of smallholder farmers.

Mr. Sunil Simon, South Asia programme manager of SAFBIN, in his opening address underscored the necessity of identifying sustainable and robust solutions for the agriculture challenges faced by smallholder farmers. “Climate change and its ramifications have exacerbated the woes of smallholder farmers by further weakening their precarious food and nutrition systems. Dwindling profitability and ever-increasing input costs have also contributed to the misery of smallholder farmers in India”, Mr. Sunil Simon said. He deplored the failure of mainline agriculture research in providing sustainable and affordable solutions to the challenges faced by the country’s huge population which is engaged in subsistence farming.

Fr. Shaju Devassy, director of Manav Vikas Seva Sangh (MVSS) Sagar, in his address lauded SAFBIN for campaigning for the cause of smallholder farmers and developing efficient and affordable models of small farming. He said that the results emerging from the farm trails of SAFBIN offer a fresh lease of hope for smallholder farmers.

Mr. Pranab Ranjan Chawdhary, consultant of SAFBIN, helped the participants understand the significance of traditional agriculture innovations which can secure the livelihood and nutrition security of smallholder farmers. Participants, who included SAFBIN district-level teams along with community leaders, were also informed about criticality of traditional agriculture innovations in the endeavour to insulate smallholder farming systems from the vagaries of climate change.

The three-day workshop was held as a preparation for the Kharif season during which SAFBIN will blend innovations of both traditional agriculture and modern agriculture practices and implement them as trial models on food crops. In the last two crop seasons, SAFBIN had helped over 200 smallholder farmers to design and implement crop trials. These trials had emerged as worthy candidate models for replication as they enabled farmers to reduce inputs costs and increase production of wheat and black gram up to two times.

During the 3-day workshop participants visited SAFBIN villages and facilitated community level reflection and analyses for screening and documenting agriculture innovations which have either been forgotten or on the verge of disappearance. So far, SAFBIN has identified 184 traditional innovations in the areas of seed selection, seed treatment, land preparation, soil nutrient management, pest management and storage.

A research delegation from Sam Higginbottom Institute of Agriculture, Technology and Sciences (SHIATS) Allahabad led by Dr. Thomas Abraham attended the workshop and presented the analyses of trials conducted during the last Kharif season.

Safbin 22 03 / 2013

SAFBIN South Asia Review Concludes at Sagar

The annual review and planning of Strengthening Adaptive Farming in Bangladesh India and Nepal (SAFBIN) programme concluded with a call for intensifying advocacy efforts for safeguarding the interests of smallholder farmers. Representatives from Caritas Austria, Caritas Nepal, Caritas Bangladesh, Caritas India and associate project partners attended the five-day event that was organised in New Delhi and Sagar from 11 to 16 March 2013.

Dr. Manfred Aichinger, Programme Manager of Caritas Austria, in his address appreciated Caritas India for its strong resolve for promoting people-led model of agriculture development. “The high degree of people’s participation in the agriculture trials and indigenisation of agriculture inputs and practices that have been achieved by Caritas India are indeed laudable”, Dr. Aichinger said. While stressing the need of systematic analysis of successful agriculture models Dr. Aichinger exhorted the delegates to also focus on stepping up advocacy activities for protecting the food and nutrition security of smallholder farmers.

The five-day event included a multi-stakeholder review and analysis of results, field visit and planning for the next two years. After the one-day programme review that was held in New Delhi on 12 March, the participants visited 3 villages in Sagar, Madhya Pradesh, to take stock of the progress of the Agriculture Research and Development (ARD) project.

Most Rev. Bishop Lumen Monteiro, chairman of Caritas India and Fr. Paul Moonjely had attended the opening session of the review meeting held in New Delhi on 12 March. Bishop Lumen Monteiro congratulated the SAFBIN team for achieving creditworthy achievements on the field and said that the good work of enhancing the food and nutrition security of smallholder farmers needs to be intensified further.

SAFBIN is an innovative On-Farm Agriculture Research (OFAR) that is breaking fresh grounds by assisting smallholder farmers to conduct scientifically-designed field trials of blended agriculture models. The agriculture models, which have infusion of the positives of traditional agriculture and modern agriculture practices, have been developed and implemented by farmers. SAFBIN programme, being implemented in 3 each districts in India, Bangladesh and Nepal, is supported by European Union (EU) and Caritas Austria.

As part of the programme review in Sagar, the representatives visited three villages where wheat trials are underway. During the field visit, the delegates met with members of Small Holder Farmers’ Collective (SHFC) and community leaders and apprised themselves about the achievements of field trials. Community members informed the delegation about the merits of the implemented trials and expressed their keenness to scale-up the agriculture models which had achieved noteworthy success. After the visit of trials, the delegation was given a rousing reception by the district SHFC forum in a public meeting held in Bagrohi village. SHFC members staged a street play and folk songs in the cultural programme which was attended by over 150 village leaders and SHFC office-bearers.

Earlier, Mr. Yogendra Sharma IAS, district collector of Sagar, along with senior officials of agriculture department had inaugurated the review and planning which was held in Sagar on 13 March. During the inauguration Mr. Yogendra Sharma had sought the support of Caritas India for developing an adaptive agriculture strategy for effectively addressing the climate change threats to agriculture. The collector had appreciated Caritas India for its innovative efforts to protect the food and nutrition security of smallholder farmers.

While concluding the review meeting, Mr. Sunil Simon, South Asia programme manager of SAFBIN, reiterated Caritas India’s commitment to securing food and nutrition security of smallholder farmers. He said that SAFBIN programme has succeeded in bringing farmers and agriculture scientists on a single platform for developing a synthesis of modern and traditional agriculture suiting to the local agro-climatic conditions.

Safbin 13 03 / 2013

District Collector Seeks SAFBIN Team Support for Developing Adaptive Agriculture Strategy for Sagar

Mr. Yogendra Sharma IAS, district collector of Sagar, sought the support of Caritas India for developing an adaptive agriculture strategy for effectively addressing the climate change threats to agriculture. The collector appreciated Caritas India for its innovative efforts to protect the food and nutrition security of smallholder farmers. Mr. Sharma IAS was addressing the international delegates in a consultation meeting organised for reviewing the progress of climate change resilient agriculture interventions in Sagar on 13 March 2013.

Mr. Sharma said that developing strategies for tackling the consequences of climate change holds critical importance in securing livelihoods of rural population in Madhya Pradesh. The fragility of eco-systems of rural areas has further been weakened by the several climate change effects including temperature fluctuations and shifting of summer and monsoon seasons. The expertise and experience of Caritas India in developing sustainable adaptive agriculture models suitable to the climatic features of Sagar will help the district administration to efficiently respond to the challenges to agriculture created by climate change, he added.

The consultation was held for reviewing the progress of Strengthening Adaptive Farming in Bangladesh, India and Nepal (SAFBIN) programme which is financed by European Union (EU) and Caritas Austria. The chief objective of the programme is building climate resilience of smallholder farmers and helping them achieve food and nutrition security.

While urging the delegates from Austria, Nepal and Bangladesh and India on developing an effective coping strategy to meet the challenges of climate change, the collector said that climate change poses ominous threat for the primary livelihood sector in the rain-fed areas in India. Rural population especially the small and marginal farming community is the worst-affected group because of its heavy reliance on eco-ecosystem for its food and nutrition security.

Dr. Manfred Aichinger, Programme Manager of Caritas Austria, highlighted the losses that smallholder farmers frequently suffer across the world due to wild weather fluctuations. Climate change has seriously affected farming systems of the poor and the damages are bound to increase if urgent measures are not taken to protect smallholder farmers from the vagaries of nature. Dr. Aichinger also said that research and development interventions around climate change hold key to the food and nutrition security of smallholder farmers.

Mr. Sunil Simon, South Asia programme manager of SAFBIN, gave a presentation on the progress of the project and said that the on-farm research trials of SAFBIN have yielded encouraging results which are replicable and affordable for smallholder farmers. SAFBIN envisages promotion of farmers’ collective-led approach for generating critical reflection at farmers’ level and mobilising communities around climate change issues, he said.

SAFBIN is an agriculture research and development programme implemented in India by Caritas India, a national level development support organisation which has expertise in agriculture, natural resource management, disaster management and livelihood promotion.

Several senior government officials including Mr. Kori, Joint Director of Agriculture, Mr. ML Chouhan, Deputy Director of Agriculture, Mr. Ayush Shivpuri, District Development Manager of NABARD, Mr. VL Malviya, Project Director of ATMA Sagar, other agriculture officials from Sagar, Khurai and Rehli blocks were present on the occasion. Senior Scientists of Krishi Vigyan Kendra (KVK) Sagar led by Dr. PC Dubey participated in the consultation which was also attended by Fr. Robin Devassy and Fr. Shaju Devassy of Manav Vikas Seva Sangh (MVSS), Sagar.

Safbin 13 12 / 2012


South Asia Coordination Unit (SACU) of Strengthening Adaptive Farming in Bangladesh, India and Nepal (SAF-BIN) programme supported by European Union organised a workshop on trial review, planning & data analysis in Kathmandu, Nepal, from 8th to 12th December 2012. Partners and Associate partners of SAF-BIN programme from India, Nepal, Bangladesh and Austria participated in the 5 day workshop which was hosted by Caritas Nepal.

Ms. Marion Michaud, Programme Manager - Sustainable Livelihoods, Food Security, Nutrition; Delegation of the European Union to Nepal attended in the inaugural session of the workshop. Ms. Marion in her inaugural address appreciated the SAF-BIN team for achieving commendable successes in on-farm adaptive research. She said that the action research holds critical importance as it has the potential to offer sustainable solutions to the food and nutrition insecurity which looms over millions of small holder farmers due to climate change. She urged SAF-BIN team to a

Safbin 17 03 / 2011

Caritas Austria launches the European Union co-financed project focusing on food security and climat

The European Union co-financed programme on Agricultural Research for Development along with Caritas partners in Austria, India, Nepal and Bangladesh launched a project on ‘Building Resilience to Climate Change through Strengthening Adaptive Small Scale Farming Systems in Rainfed Areas in Bangladesh, India and Nepal’ in the headquarters of Caritas India, New Delhi.
The main objective of this project is to promote local food and nutritional security through adaptive small scale farming in four rainfed agro-ecosystems in India, Nepal and Bangladesh in the context of Climate Change. The main applicant for this project is Caritas Austria along with its partners - Caritas Nepal, Caritas India, Caritas Bangladesh and BOKU- University of Natural Resources and Applied Sciences, Vienna. The associate partners for the project are Action For Food Production (AFPRO), Sam Higginbotom Institute of Agriculture, Technology & Sciences (SHIATS) from India, Bangladesh Rice Research Institute (BRRI),

Safbin 24 06 / 2011

SAF-BIN Project launched in Nepal

Caritas Nepal organised an project inauguration Ceremony for the European Union supported project \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\"Building Resilience to Climate Change through Strengthening Adaptive Small Scale Farming Systems in rainfed areas in Bangladesh, India and Nepal (SAF-BIN)’’ on 24th June, 2011 at Hotel Himalaya, Lalitpur. The Ceremony was chaired by Fr. Bogati K B, Executive Director. The Chief Guest was Mr. Lluis Navarro, Charge d’ Affairs of European Mission to Nepal.

The main objectives of the project is to promote local food and nutritional security through the promotion of adaptive small scale farming in four rain-fed agro-eco systems in South Asia in context of climate change. The project will undertake participatory agriculture research, refine suitable practices and technologies, and undertaken extension of these practices and technologies (and models) so that small farms managed by small farmers are more resilient to climate change impacts. The introduction of the project was presente

Safbin 07 12 / 2012


A workshop of the SAF-BIN team will be organised in Kathmandu, Nepal to analyse the outcome of the trials conducted during the monsoon. The team will also plan and incorporate learning from the trials to develop strategies for the Winter trials.

Safbin 12 11 / 2012

Training on On-Farm Adaptive Research held in Bhubaneswar

A training on On-Farm Adaptive Research was organised for the SAF-BIN India team in Bhubaneswar from November 7 - 10, 2012.

Safbin 28 11 / 2012

Quarterly reviw of the SAFBIN programme held in Satna

The quarterly review of EU supported, Caritas India`s agricultural development programme on Strengthening Adaptive Farming in Bangladesh India and Nepal (SAFBIN) was organised in Satna on 28 November 2012. During the meeting, progressive achievements of the programme objectives along with field trials observations were consolidated and action plan
for the next quarter was finalised.

The meeting commenced with the sharing of district project officers from Sagar, Mandla and Satna where the SAFBIN programme is being implemented for enhancing the adaptive capability of small holder farmers. It was informed that the field trials of wheat and paddy had yielded encouraging results as these trials had helped farmers to understand the benefits of new farming models. Apart from the significant increase in the crop yield and soil productivity, these trials also established the efficacy of climate resilient agricultural practices that were designed to tackle the adversit

Safbin 27 11 / 2012

Multistakeholder Forum Meeting and District Workshop held in Satna

The district stakeholder forum of smallholder farmers\\\' representatives, constituted under the SAFBIN programme of Caritas India, held its first meeting in Satna on 27 November 2012. The forum meeting discussed the challenges of smallholder farmers and exchanged their experience and learning from adaptive agriculture practices.