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 wheat farmer’s perception and adaptation measures under climate change and vulnerability context of Bardiya District

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  • 29/02/2016

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

Nepal is an agro-economic country and its agricultural system is dependent on climatic factors. Hence, changes in climatic patterns impact the entire agricultural production. Studies on people´s perception of climate change impacts are limited at local levels. The overall objective of this study was to understand wheat farmers’ perceptions, adaptation measures under the climate change and vulnerability context in Motipur and Kalika VDC1 of Bardiya district. Information was collected from both primary and secondary sources. Primary data included surveys of 80 households (50 % SAF-BIN farmers), five focus group discussions and five key informant interviews (e.g. with leader farmers, Agro-vet shop, Caritas staff), carried out in 2014. Secondary data, e.g. precipitation and temperature trends were collected from the Department of Hydrology and Meteorology and the Central Bureau of Statistics. Wheat growers perceived temperature rises, decreased winter rainfalls, longer drought periods, delayed and shorter monsoons and higher disease and pest incidence (e.g. loose smut). Analysis of the secondary data confirmed the farmers´ climate change perceptions: annual temperature slightly increased (+0.0390C) while the rainfall decreased (-8.031mm) within the last 27 years. In order to respond to these effects, farmers changed sowing dates, used improved wheat varieties (Bijay, Gautam) and applied more chemical fertilizers and farm yard manure. Proper drying and storage of wheat with neem leaves was used to minimize grain loss. No widely applied technical practice was in place for moisture conservation. Well off farmers used motor pumping, while most other farmers relied on changing sowing dates. SAF-BIN famers were knowledgeable about various adaption practices and also applied e.g. seed and grain storage techniques and line sowing. Although they were knowledgeable, poor adaptation practices on wheat, were observed, due to limited awareness, or diffusion on climate-smart technologies. The study recommends to extend the adaption strategies, specifically towards drought-smart wheat technologies, that help farmers to adapt the long and unpredictable drought periods. Additionally, the practices should be up-scaled and further research should be extended to the entire Terai region of Nepal.


1VDC = Village development committee