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 wheat field

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  • 01/04/2016

Sujon Kumar completed this MSc thesis research at University of Development Alternative (UODA), Dhaka, Bangladesh.


Organic matter affects chemical and physical properties including soil structure, moisture holding capacity, diversity and activity of soil organisms and overall soil health. It influences nutrient availability and uptake of chemical fertilizers, pesticides and herbicides. Important characteristics in drought prone areas such as the region selected for this study.

This experiment investigated combinations of organic and inorganic fertilizers and their ability to balance physical and chemical soil properties and organic matter content. The overall objective was to assess if this practice can increase wheat yields and supports adaptation climate change in a rain-fed area of Bangladesh.

A trial on farms participating in SAF-BIN project in Baraigram (Natore district) tested two treatments: T1 = FYM: 3t/ha farm yard manure + 100kg/ha urea + 80kg/ha TSP[1]+ 20kg/ha MOP[2] + 60kg/ha gypsum; T2= PL: 3t/ha poultry litter + 100kg/ha urea + 80kg/ha TSP1 + 20kg/ha MOP2 + 60kg/ha gypsum). Wheat variety Prodip[3] was planted using local cultivation practices and irrigation. Both treatments were established in one mother plot (200m²) and replicated in five locations (400m2, each). 20 parameters were collected and analyzed using ANOVA and comparison of means.

Maximum grain yield was for both treatments 4.4t/ha. FYM showed better result in thousand grain weight (62.97g), tillers/plant (7.0), average leaf area (42cm2), number of spikelets/spike (22), average spike weight (2.8g), number of grains/spike (39), grain weight/spike (2.1g), spike/m2 (295) and harvest index (52.63%). Straw yield and biological yield (= grain and straw) (5.97t/ha and 9.97t/ha) were higher in PL. Locational variation were observed for grain and straw yields between treatments.

The application of organic matter in combination with half of the recommended fertilizer dose has a positive effect on wheat yield. FYM had a more positive impact on phenological and yield traits. Farmers can adapt their fertilizer management to improve soil conditions in Northern Bangladesh.

[1]triple superphosphate: inorganic fertilizer and source of  P

[2]mureate of potash: inorganic fertilizer and source of K

[3]Prodip was released by the Bangladesh Agricultural Research Institute (BARI) 2005, matures at 105-110 days with an average yield of 3.5-4.5t/ha