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.


  • Effectiveness of practiced management option to control of rice sheath blight

  •   | 
  • 01/04/2016

Md. Shahanur Rahman completed this BSc thesis at the Department of Agronomy and Agricultural Extension of the University of Rajshahi, Bangladesh.


Rice sheath blight disease, caused by Rhizoctonia solani, is a major problem for rice production in North-western Bangladesh. The disease thrives in warm and wet conditions. Climate change leads to increasing temperatures and altered rainfall patterns which promote the spread of sheath blight. In an earlier experiment, several management options for sheath blight had already been tested. This experiment was designed to validate the results in the field and to identify sustainable management options for local farmers.

A trial was conducted in the upazillas[1]Baraigram (Natore district), Paba (Rajshahi district) and Patnitala (Naogaon district), Bangladesh. Trial plots were established on farms participating in SAF-BIN project. Rice variety Swarma was used. The tested management options were T1= Collection of floating debris (FD) + Fungicide (Folicure) and T2= Fungicide (Folicure) + MOP[2]. The trial was laid out in a randomized Complete Block Design with three replications. Data on fertile tillers/plant, grains/panicle, thousand grain weight (TGW), yield, sheath blight incidence (%) and drought duration was collected.

In all locations, fertile tillers per hill (T1: 12.2-14.6; T2: 12-17.4), TGW (T1: 21.5-22.4g; T2: 21.2-23.4g) and grains/panicle (T1: 130-163.4; T2: 128 – 181.6) were higher in T2 than in T1. But these differences were not statistically significant. There was a statistical influence of location on grains/panicle and TGW.In general, both the treatments successfully suppressed the disease progress from the uppermost leaf sheath to other photosynthetic parts of the plants. This kept the severity index below the economic threshold resulting in minimal yield loss. However, T2 was more successful if disease incidence (T1: 20-80%; T2: 17-60%) and grain yield are concerned.In Baraigram the trial plots suffered from more drought stress than in the other two which was the primary cause of yield losses.

[1]a geographical region in Bangladesh used for administrative purposes, sub-units of districts. (Wikipedia, 2015: access date 19/10/2015.

[2]fertilizsation with Mureate of Potash (MOP); ½ ofthe recommended dose of MOP, applied with the 2nd top dressing of urea.