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.


  • Ethical aspects of knowledge in view of sustainable goal setting in development projects using the example of Caritas Nepal

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  • 31/05/2017

Andrea Wiltberger has completed her MSc thesis at the University of Vienna, Austria. The field work for this thesis was supported by the SAF-BIN project especially the SAF-BIN teams of Caritas Nepal and the University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences Vienna.



The goal of this work has been to establish an overview of perspectives on ethical considerations of ideas of reality and truth in the discipline of philosophy with the purpose of applying  them to an actual development project, the example of SAF-BIN project implemented by Caritas Nepal and headed by Caritas Austria. An example for the sphere of knowledge pointing out possible areas for improvements in course of action and collaboration considering ethics. Results from this Caritas Nepal project should furthermore enable drawing conclusions for other development cooperation project and their ethical requirements.
Due to this goal the elaboration of the research questions posed has been divided into two sections. The first section is focused placing ethical implications of different schools of thought into the limelight taking into account their viewpoints of reality and truth. An assessment of the available literature has been selected to answer the first research questions: ‘Which ethical implications can be identified in philosophical notions of reality and truth?’

In the second sections these explanations of philosophical approaches towards reality form the basis for the elaboration of the second research question using the case of SAF-BIN project of Caritas Nepal and Caritas Austria to examine ethical aspects in a concrete project.

Results have shown that the options for action of smallholder farmers in different areas of life are exposed to different influencing factors. In the area of nutrition smallholder farmers have gained options for action through the project. In the areas of agricultural cultivation practises, marketing activities and social role distribution within families’ options for action remain unchanged in the long run. Options for action are subjected to change and can eventually be incorporated into implicit knowledge and in this manner become part of the body of knowledge containing traditions and indigenous ways of living of the Nepalese people.

*Compiled and translated from the original work by Dr. Romana Roschinsky, SAF-BIN project team member, University of Natural resources and Life Sciences Vienna