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.


  • Productivity and economic feasibility of rain fed rice (Oryza sativa L.) as influenced by crop geometry and cultural practices in Satna District of Madhya Pradesh in the context of climate change

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  • 01/04/2016

Daikho Saveipune conducted this MSc thesis research at Sam Higginbottom Institute of Agriculture, Technology and Sciences (SHIATS), Allahabad, Uttar Pradesh, India within our project


The majority of rice growing areas in India is rainfed, which makes the crops likely to be hit worst by climate change, due to limited mechanisms for coping with climate variability. Adaptation strategies in rainfed production systems presents promising entry points to mitigate the negative effects of climate change. The present study was undertaken to assess the effect of different agronomic management practices (e.g. plant spacing, liquid formulations) on the productivity and economy of rice farmers’ fields.

The on farm research trial was conducted in 9 villages of Satna district, during Kharif season, June to November, 2013. The experiment was laid out in a randomized block design consisting of three treatments[1],[2],[3] with different crop geometry factors[4]. Data were recorded for growth parameters, yield and yield attributes, post-harvest quality factors and economic analysis. Significance of difference was tested via F- test. Transplanting rice at 20 cm × 20 cm spacing compared to the 20 cm x 15 cm revealed significant higher values for most growth and yield parameters like plant height (101.21, 89.75 cm, resp.), dry weight (51.02, 37.24, g hill-1, resp.), number of tillers hill-1 (17.89, 13.28, resp.), panicle length (21.12, 17.95 cm, resp.), straw yield (17.06, 12.86 t ha-1, resp.) and biological yield (24.76, 19.57 t ha-1, resp.). Analyzing the effect liquid formulations, results showed that Matka khaad and neem + tobacco extract, achieved highest values for all growth and yield parameters compared to conventional practice. Matka khaad and neem + tobacco extract were also found best in reducing sucking pest (gundhi bug) incidence. Infestation and damage in rice crop were mostly recued with T22 (5-6%, 3-5%, resp.). The highest gross return (122090.00), net return (97690.00) and benefit-cost ratio (5.00) was also obtained with T2.

The combination of more plant spacing and application of organic liquid formulations leads to better soil health and productivity and also decreases the infestation of pests. Hence T22 and T11 are regarded as the best treatments in this study. The findings are, however, based on one season only. Hence, it is recommended to repeat it also in other seasons.

[1] T1: 20 cm × 20 cm + 5% Matka khad  

[2] T2: 20 cm × 20 cm + 5% neem + tobacco extract

[3] T3: 20 cm × 15 cm + inorganic fertilizer, conventional practice [ (i.e., 108.69 kg DAP ha-1 and 175.00 kg urea ha-1, a recommended dose of 100 kg N ha-1 and 50 kg P ha-1, nitrogen application, via two sources, viz., urea 80.56 kg N and DAP 19.56 kg N)]

[4] Crop geometry factors: transplanting 20 x 20 cm or 20 x 15 cm and different organic liquid formulations (e.g. Matka khad, or Neem and Tobacco extract) and inorganic fertilizer, conventional practice