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.


  • Growth, productivity and climate change assessments of drought tolerant rice cultivars under different crop management practices: simulations using CSM-CERES-Rice model in central terai of Nepal

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  • 29/02/2016

This MSc thesis study was conducted by Bishal Dhakal, student at the Tribhuvan University, as part of the SAF-BIN project in Nepal in 2014.

Rice is a staple food in Nepal, but its production is restricted due to rising erratic rainfall patterns, and fluctuating temperatures caused by climate change. Appropriate crop management practice and drought tolerant cultivars are climate smart methods to mitigate the effects. The evaluation and adaptation of these practices can be improved through crop simulation models. The aim of the study was to evaluate the model CSM-CERES1 Rice ver. 4.5 for its ability to simulate agronomic and climate change parameters of drought tolerant rice cultivars under different crop management practices. The study was carried out in Dhauwadi VDC2 Nawalparasi district, Nepal from June to October 2014. The field experiment was conducted in strip-plot designs at three farmers´ fields with 12 treatments based on three crop management practices3 and four varieties4. Biometric, yield attributing and economic data were recorded and statistically analyzed via ANOVA and Duncan's Multiple Range Test.  For the simulations study, the CSM-CERES-Rice model was calibrated5, validated and the sensitivity of the model to various agronomic and climatic parameters was performed.The field study revealed that grain yield, was significantly influenced by the management practices, but not by genetics. SRI3 achieved highest grain yields (5.28 t/ha) compared to the conventional and ICM3 practice (4.49; 4.73 t/ha). Moreover, SRI showed highest values for effective tillers/m2, panicle length and weight. There was no significant interaction effect of management practices and cultivars in grain yield, but in straw yield (highest: Sukkha-5 cultivar with SRI, 5.66 t/ha), and harvest index (highest: Sukkha-5 with conventional practice, 54.75%). SRI showed highest gross return, net return and B:C ratio. The simulation model was found well validated with days to anthesis, days to physiological maturity and grain yield and it was found sensitive to weather years, transplanting date, temperature, C02 concentration and solar radiation. Cultivar Sukkha-5 grown under SRI management practice showed best yield results. The CSM-CERES Rice Model was successful and showed the immense scope of using this model as a tool for estimating potential yields and effects of different agronomic and climate change parameters in the study area.


1 Cropping System Model (CSM)-CERES (Crop-Environment Resource Synthesis)
2 Village development committee

3 System of rice intensification (SRI), integrated crop management (ICM) and conventional management

4 Introduced varieties: Sukkha-3, Sukkha-4, Sukkha-5 and the local variety: Hardinath-2.

5 adjustment to genetic coefficients related to plant development and grain yield