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.


  • Participatory variety selection and adaptation performance of the varieties in diverse climatic situation

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  • 01/04/2016

Arabinda Das completed his BSc thesis at the Department of Animal Husbandry and Veterinary Science at the University of Rajshahi, Bangladesh.


Climate change leads to a climatic variability, an increase of drought events and a shift of rainy seasons in Bangladesh. These factors have a negative effect on rice cultivation. Different duration varieties are adapted to different climatic situations.

The objective of this study was to use a participatory varietal selection trial to identify the best of selected short duration, drought tolerant and drought escaping rice varieties for rainfed areas in the study sites.

The trial was conducted in SAF-BIN project locations in the upazillas[1] Baraigram (Natore district), Paba (Rajshahi district) and Patnitala (Naogaon district) under SAFBIN project. The four rice varieties BINA7, BRRIdhan56, BRRI dhan57 and BRRIdhan49 were tested. The varieties were arranged in a randomized complete block design with three replications. The locally practiced fertilizer and pest control strategies were applied.

Irrespective of location BRRI dhan49 produced most fertile tillers/hill (16). In Paba and Baraigram, BRRI dhan56 produced the highest thousand grain weight (TGW) (23.1 g and 23g) respectively and in Patnitala, second highest only to BINA 7 (23.4g). At Paba BINA 7 and BRRI dhan49 produced the highest grain yield (4.8t/ha) followed by BRRI dhan56 and BRRI dhan57 (4.3 t/ha). At Patnitala BRRI dhan49 gave the highest grain yield (4.7t/ha) followed by BRRI dhan56, BRRI dhan57 and BINA 7 (4.2t/ha). At Baraigram, BINA 7 produced the highest grain yield (4.6t/ha) followed by BRRI dhan56, BRRI dhan49 and BRRI dhan57 (4.1t/ha). The highest growth duration was recorded in BRRI dhan49 (133d) followed by BINA 7, BRRI dhan56 and lowest in BRRI dhan57 (107d).

BRRIdhan56 has unique drought tolerant capacity with acceptable yield (3.5 t/ha) in drought years. Farmers can get opportunity to cultivate a second crop after this variety and can increase farm productivity and income.

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