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.


  • Performance assessment of minimize of seedling and to increase yield

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  • 01/04/2016

This BSc thesis was completed by Yaismin arannum at Department of Agronomy & Agricultural extensionof the University of Rajshahi, Bangladesh



Rice, the major staple crop in Bangladesh, suffers from the impacts of climate change. The increase of rice yields and reduction of losses due to pests and diseases are important for national security. The performance is related to the number of seedlings per hill with 3-4 recognized as density minimizing losses.

The objective of this trial was to assess the performance of rice cultivated from different numbers of seedlings/hill with the goal to identify the most suitable seedling rate for each location to achieve the best possible rice yields.

This trial was conducted on farms participating in SAF-BIN project in Baraigram (Natore district), Paba (Rajshahi district) and Patnitala (Naogaon district). The rice variety BRIdhan 49 was cultivates. 21-25 days old seedlings were transplanted at a spacing of 20 x 15cm. The treatments were T1: reduced seedling rate 1 seedlings/hill and T2: normal seedling rate 3-5 seedlings/hill; arranged in a randomized complete block design with three replications. Fertilization and pest management were applied according to local practice. Data on fertile tillers/hill, thousand grain weight (TGW, g) and yield (t/ha) was collected.

Fertile tillers/hill differed significantly between treatments. In Paba and Patnitala the reduced seedling rate (T1) resulted in a higher number of fertile tillers/hill; while in Baraigram the normal seedling date produced more. Location had a significant influence on TGW: TGW was highest in Patnitala (23g), followed by Paba (20g) and Baraigram (18.1g). Treatments had no significant effect TGW.T1 achievew higher rice yield in Patnitala (5.3t/ha) and Paba (4.9t/ha); but in BaraigramT2 resulted in higher yield (4t/ha).There was strong positive correlation between fertile tillers/hill and grain yield (R2= 0.96).

Results are inconclusive when seedling rate is taken into account as influencing factor and imply a strong influence of location on the recorded traits.