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 stem borer

  •   | 
  • 01/04/2016

Md. Asadul Islam completed his BSc thesis at the Department of Agronomy and Agricultural Extension at the University of Rajshahi, Bangladesh.


Climate change lead to reduced annual rainfall and increased temperatures. Such conditions stimulate the expansion of rice stem borers, insects that damage rice plants leading to reduced productivity of the crop.

The objective of this research was to test two management options for rice stem borer and assess the effectiveness of the methods as sustainable pest management options.

This experiment was in the upazillas Baraigram (Natore district), Paba (Rajshahi district) and Patnitala (Naogaon district), Bangladesh. Trial plots were established on farms participating in SAF-BIN project. The two treatments were: T1= Gonabum (a botanical pest repellent prepared using chicken intestines, molasses and cow urine) and T2= neem cake. The treatments were arranged in a randomized complete block design with three replications. BINA dhan7 a short duration drought tolerant as well as drought escaping rice variety was used. Data on growth duration, rainless days, plant height, fertile tillers/hill, affected tillers, grains/panicle, dead heart incidence (DHI), white head incidence (%), thousand grain weight (TGW) and yield.

Growth duration was longest in Paba followed by Baraigram and Patnitalaand significantly different between the two treatments in all the locations. In Paba and Baraigram Gonabum treated plots yielded the highest number of fertile tillers/hill while in Patnitala the same result was achieved in plots treated with neem cake performed better. There was an influence of location on fertile tillers/hill (Paba>Patnitala>Baraigram). Results for affected tillers were inconclusive. In Baraigram most tillers were affected in plots treated with neem cake. In Patnitala plots treated with Gonabum were most affected. The treatment did not have an effect on affected tillers in Paba. DHI was more frequent for T2 in Baraigram, T1 in Patnitala and similar for both treatments in Paba. The highest number of white head incidence was recorded at Baraigram followed by Patnitala. Pabadid not have white head incidences. Irrespective of treatments TGW was highest in Patnitala followed by Paba and Baraigram. It was similar between both treatments in Patnitala and Paba but T2 resulted in a larger TGW in Baraigram. The highest grain yield was recorded for plots treated with neem cake in all locations.

Although gonabum and neem cake are not as effective as chemical repellents, they kept the stem borer infestation below the economic threshold. A spraying interval of 7 days should be observed.