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.


  • Farmers´ perception and adaptation measures of rice cultivation under climate change and vulnerability context in Nawalparasi district

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  • 28/02/2016

This BSc thesis study was conducted by Anisha Giri, student at the Tribhuvan University, as part of the SAF-BIN project in Nepal in 2014.

Rajahar and Pithauli  (VDC)1 are main rice producing areas in Nawalparasi district in Nepal. Yet, these locations are highly affected by changing rainfall patterns and farmers are facing problems in crop production. Documentation of local challenges and adaptation strategies of farmers in this area rare, however, rare.The overall aim of the study was to examine the rice farmers’ perception and adaption practices to climate change effects in Pitahli and Rjahar VDCs of Nawalparasi. From June-August 2014 primary as well as secondary data were collected. Primary data were obtained from 70 household surveys among SAF-BIN  (62%) and non SAF-BIN famers (38%), four focus group discussions and key informant interviews e.g. with district agriculture development officers and farmers. Secondary data were screened for information on time series on climate variability or climate change impacts, collected e.g. from the Department of Hydrology and Meteorology or the Central Bureau of Statistics. The majority of the farmers have experienced erratic rainfall, both in frequency and intensity. 96% reported an increase in temperature and 85% observed a delayed onset of the monsoon with shorter lasting periods compared to ten years ago. Moreover, the farmers experienced that the number of drought days increased, leading to water scarcity in surface and groundwater. Regarding the effects of climate change on the rice cultivation, insect pest e.g. paddy stem borer or leaf folder, drought, and untimely rainfall, were mentioned as the major reasons for crop failure. Among the major adaptation strategies applied at farm level were:  increased use of manure (96%), use of pesticides (94%), cutting bunds (86%), early stage seedlings (82%) and climate smart varieties (66%), obtained within the SAF-BIN project based on a mixture of traditional and introduced knowledge. The positive adaption strategies developed should be spread to other farmers in this area and the awareness of professionals working in governmental and non‐governmental organizations should be raised to take up the adaption strategies.


1 Village development committee