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.


  • Study on rice farmer’s perception and adaptation measures under climate change and vulnerability context in Bardiya District.

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  • 29/02/2016

This BSc thesis study was conducted by Hridesh Sharma, student at the Tribhuwan University, as part of the SAF-BIN project in Nepal in 2014.

Rain-fed agriculture, covering the majority of crop production in Nepal, is highly vulnerable to climate change. Adaption practices offer sustainable solutions to mitigate climate change effects. The strategies, however, have to be developed based on the local circumstances.The objectives of this study were to assess the climate change related perceptions of rice farmers and to investigate the local, prevailing adaptation practices of rice production in Bardiya district of Nepal. The research was carried out in Kalika and Motipur VDC1 during June-September 2014. Primary data were collected through 80 household surveys (50% SAF-BIN farmers), five focus group discussions with 72 famers and five key informant interviews involving e.g. farmers and district officers. Secondary data were screened for information on precipitation and temperature trends and were collected from the Central Bureau of Statistics and the Department of Hydrology and Meteorology. SAF-BIN farmers had a better understanding of climate change compared to other farmers. The negative effects of climate change have been experienced by the majority of the people interviewed. Compared to ten years ago, farmers are facing rises in temperature, decreases in monsoon rainfall, extended drought lengths and severity. Drought, disease and pest insects, decline in soil fertility and restricted availability to quality seeds were mentioned as key causes for the reducing rice production. The farmers´ perceptions are in accordance with secondary data. A trend analysis of the past 30 years shows temperature increases for max (+0.0640C), min (+0.0140C) and average (+0.0390C) temperature, but decreases (-8.031 mm) and high fluctuations in the annual rainfall. SAF-BIN farmers adopted climate-smart strategies. 94% now use the introduced drought tolerant Sukha rice varieties and also non SAF-BIN farmers started to cultivate these varieties in small quantities, buying the seeds at shops. Other adoption practices include changing seed sowing dates, use of more farm yard manure and replacement of insecticides with integrated pest management practices.The study recommends to expand the approaches, e.g. to climate change-smart groundwater extraction technologies and to upscale the introduced climate smart practices to reach more farmers.

1Village development comittee