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 different organic and inorganic combination on soil fertility and water holding capacity of rice field

  •   | 
  • 01/04/2016

Most. Shabnom Mustary has conducted her BSc research at the Department of Agronomy and Agricultural Extension of the University of Rajshahi, Bangladesh.


Cracking top-soil in rice fields can cause cultivation problems. It influences the capillary rise of water, nutrient uptake by rice plants, vegetative growth and yields negatively. An increase of organic matter in the soil can increase water holding capacity which contributes to higher fertility of rice fields.

The objective was to identify the best locally available organic fertilizers and their optimal combination with inorganic fertilizers to improve and sustain soil health and water holding capacity in order to minimize drought effects.

A trial was conducted in Baraigram (Natore district), Paba (Rajshahi district) and Patnitala (Naogaon district) on farms participating in SAF-BIN project. The rice variety BRRIdhan56 was used and tested combinations were: T1: 6t/ha poultry litter (PL) + 0.18t/ha N[1] + 0.75T/ha P[2] + 0.90t/ha K[3] and T2: 6t/ha farm yard manure (FYM) + 0.18t/ha N + 0.75T/ha P + 0.90t/ha K in a randomized complete block design with three replications. Pest control was applied whenever necessary. Data on plant height (cm), fertile tillers/hill, thousand grain weight (TGW) (g) and yield (t/ha) was collected. Data analysis included Duncan’s Multiple Range Test (DMRT) and correlations between grain yield and its components.

Treatment did not influence plant height (T1: 112.5cm; T2: 11.7 cm), fertile tillers/hill (T1:10,7; T2:10.9), TGW (T1:23.1g; T2:23.2g) or yield (T1:4.5t/ha; T2:4.5t/ha) significantly. Correlations between organic fertilizer source and yield as well as fertile tillers/hill were both positive. Farmers’ preference analysis revealed that farmers in Paba and Baraigram preferred T1 while farmers in Patnitala preferred T2.

These findings point out that a drought tolerant rice variety and a combination between half of the recommended inorganic fertilizer dose and organic fertilizers PL and FYM can achieve acceptable rice yields in this drought prone region. Up scaling of this technology is recommended to combat drought and degrading soil health.  

[1] N= urea as inorganic of nitrogen  (N)

[2] P = triple superphosphate as inorganic source of Phosphorus (P)

[3] K = Mureate of potash (MOP) as inorganic source of Potassium (K)