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.


  • Farmer’s Perception and adaptation measures of vegetable cultivation under climate change and vulnerability context in Nawalparasi District

  •   | 
  • 29/02/2016

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

Increased temperatures, reduced availability of irrigation water, flooding and soil salinity are limiting factors of vegetable production. Hence, tools to adapt and mitigate these adverse climate change effects on agricultural productivity are required. The aim of this study was to assess farmers´ perceptions of climate change impacts and to examine how they respond to these effects. The study was conducted at Pithauli and Rajahar VDCs1 of Nawalparasi District in Nepal, collecting primary and secondary information in 2014. The locations were part of the SAF-BIN research program. Primary data included 70 household surveys, five focus group discussions and key informant interviews (e.g. with officers from governments and Caritas Nepal). Secondary data, capturing information on time series of climatic parameters were obtained from the Department of Hydrology and Meteorology and the Centre Bureau of Statistics. Most of the farmers reported that they experienced the effects of climate change, e.g. higher temperatures and increased drought lengths, compared to a decade ago. They also faced higher number of foggy days, which favors late blight disease in vegetables and were confronted with insect pest even in the winter seasons. The farmers´ perceptions were in line with the trend analysis: within the past 30 years the rainfall in Nawalparasi was characterized by irregular patterns and the temperature showed increases. The adaptation practices introduced through SAF-BIN tackled yield increase, inadequate irrigation supply, insect pest attack, disease and cold/frost. Introduced hybrid varieties and application of more farm yard manure were equally applied by all farmers. More scattered were the practices to combat inadequate irrigation facilities. The majority of the households used mulching for winter vegetables, followed by installation of shallow tube and use of kitchen water. Only few applied water drip irrigation or constructed ponds. The study recommends that water saving and utilization technologies as well as soil fertility improvements should be increased and overall the research area should be extended, in order to reach more farmers.

1Village Development Committee