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 of climate change in Bardiya district, Nepal: Impact and adaptation in agriculture

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  • 29/02/2016

This BSc thesis study was conducted by Reena Bajracharya, student at the Kathmandu University, as part of the SAF-BIN project in Nepal in 2012.

Bardiya district is one of the most affected areas of climate change in Nepal. Although several studies examining the impacts of climate change were carried out in the Himalayan region, data are rare for the Terai, the lowland of Nepal, like Bardiya. The present study was undertaken to examine the impact of climate change, peoples´ perceptions to environmental change and adaptive practices in place. The study was carried out in Kalika VDC1 of Bardiya district Nepal in 2012. Primary data were obtained through 150 household questionnaires, besides key informant interviews (e.g. with teachers, government officials, NGO staff) and focus group discussions (e.g. with elderly farmers). Secondary data including precipitation trends were collected from the Department of Hydrology and Meteorology and the Central Bureau of Statistics. Within the past 26 years, the annual temperature increased and rainfall has been characterized by large inter annual variability along with annual decreases.  People experienced erratic rainfall patterns, increased temperature and increased frequency and length of droughts. Financially well-off farmers often applied irrigation facilities (e.g. treadle pump, electric machine irrigation), making them more independent of the erratic rainfall patterns. Poor farmers, however, had to rely on the rainfall. The cultivation of newly introduced, drought resistant varieties was among the most applied adaption practice. To adjust to the changing rainfall pattern, farmers changed their cropping calendar and often also planting method. Some farmers have started plastic tunnel and mulching. To combat the increasing rates of disease, pest and weed infestations, famers often applied pesticides, ignoring its hazardous effects, some conducted manual weeding and only few practiced organic farming.The study recommends to conduct more research on climate change its effects and new adaption technologies, such as introduced by the SAF-BIN project. Additionally, a focus should be to improve off-farm income earning opportunities to empower communities and address vulnerability.

1Village development commitee