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.


  • Smallholder Farmers' Forum Meeting and District Workshop in Satna

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  • 29/11/2012

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.

The forum serves as a district level organisation of smallholder farmers which identifies and promotes sustainable systems of food production, distribution and consumption. The forum also functions as a representative body which draws its membership from smallholder farmers, researchers, government officials and civil society organisations. The endeavour of federating the smallholder farmers' collectives at the district level is being taken up as part of the European Union co-financed programme on Strengthening Adaptive Farming in Bangladesh, India and Nepal (SAFBIN).

Dr. Lal Mani Shukla, Additional Director of Horticulture, in his address informed the members about the various government schemes being implemented for supporting the agricultural practices of smallholder farmers. While describing about the credit, subsidy and extension
assistance available for small farmers with the Horticulture department, Dr. Shukla expressed eagerness in working with the forum for improving the livelihood and nutrition security of smallholder farmers.

Dr. Kaushik, of Krishi Vigyan Kendra (KVK), discussed about the recent agriculture innovations that were found to be very useful for smallholder farmers. Dr. Kaushik clarified the concept of Integrated Pest Management system (IPM) and Integrated Nutrient Management
(INM) system and said that a healthy blending of traditional farming methods and scientific agriculture practices can improve the profitability of small farming.

Earlier, Mr. Sunil Simon, Programme Manager – SAFBIN, started the forum meeting with a presentation on profile of Caritas India's development interventions and the objectives of SAFBIN programme. Mr. Sunil underscored the urgency of exploring sustainable solutions for the challenges faced by small farmers since they have been hit hard by the ramifications of climate change. Mr. Saju . K. National Programme Coordinator, shared the objective of the meeting and the importance of collective effort to address the issues of smallholder

Mr. Valentine Denis Pankaj, Research Officer and Mr. Vivek Tripathi, Project Officer shared the major observations on the challenges and situation of smallholder farmers from the PRA conducted in the project villages. He also shared the achievements of the programme and learning from the Kharif Trial conducted by the Smallholder Farmers Collective (SHFC). During the meeting, SAFBIN team presented the outcomes of wheat and paddy cultivation trials. The forum was informed that the trials yielded empirical evidences on the feasibility and profitability of innovative wheat and paddy cultivation practices experimented by
small farmers.

Several government officials including Mr. Ganga Singh,Agriculture Development Officer, Dr. Negi of KVK, and Mr. Lal Singh of Horticulture Department also interacted with the members and helped them identify locally viable solutions for the problems of smallholder agriculture.