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.


  • Response of drought tolerant rainfed rice cultivars to transplanting dates under changing climatic condition in Nawalparasi, Nepal

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  • 28/02/2016

This MSc thesis study was conducted by Dinesh Bahadur Karki, student at the Tribhuvan University, as part of the SAF-BIN project in Nepal in 2012.

Rainfed production systems are highly vulnerable to climate change. In Nepal, more than 70% of the total rice production derives from rainfed ecosystems, hence strategies to mitigate climate change effects are crucial. The aim of the study was to assess the productivity of various drought tolerant rice cultivars and appropriate transplanting dates under changing climatic scenarios. The experiment was conducted at farmers´ fields in Dhobadi VDC , Nawalparasi from June to November, 2012. 16 treatment combinations based on four different transplanting dates (July 15, July 25, August 4 August 14) and four rice cultivars (Sukkha Dhan-1, Sukkha Dhan-2, Sukkha Dhan-3 and Radha-4) were tested. The treatments were arranged in split-plot designs. Among the data collected were grain yield, number of grains per panicle, filled grains per panicle and 1000 grain weight. The yield was significantly influenced by the transplanting date, whereas, the different varieties had no substantial effect on the yield. Highest yield (2.46 t/ha) was obtained by transplanting date July 15. After that the yield decreased gradually: 12.6% by July 25 and 28.6% by August 4. The lowest yield (0.30 t/ha) was observed by the latest transplanting date, August 14, with a yield decrease of 87.9% compared to July 15. Among the reasons discussed for the significant differences are the changing climatic parameters such as temperature and rainfall. Little rainfall in August, might have caused water stress during critical growth stages and hence negatively affected the grain yield. Next to the increased yield, early transplanting (July 15-August 4) resulted also in the highest number of grains per panicle, more filled grains per panicle and highest 1000 grain weight.This study shows that early transplanting dates: July 15 to July 25 resulted in significant higher yields than later dates (August 4 to 14), independent of the rice varieties tested.  However, in order to validate the research further, more years of multi-location research are required