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.


  • Evaluation of different cultivars and methods of planting for rain fed rice (Oryza sativa L.) in the context of climate change

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  • 01/04/2016

Jaykrit Singh completed this Msc thesis at the Sam Higginbottom Institute of Agriculture, Technology and Sciences (SHIATS), Allahabad, Uttar Pradesh, India within our project.


Rain fed ecosystems reflect the majority of the total rice growing area in India. Due to lack of water supply, these production systems are vulnerable to floods and droughts. Adaptive farming strategies present promising entry points to buffer the negative climate change effects.  
The objectives of the study were to find suitable genotypes for the agro-ecological zone[1], to evaluate appropriate planting methods as well as nutrient management practices and to determine economic parameters.

The study was carried out at 62 farmers’ fields in 10 villages of Mandla district during Kharif season in 2012. The on farm research trial was laid out in a randomized block design, consisting of three factors: rice genotypes[2], planting methods[3] and nutrient management options[4]. Measured parameters included growth factors, yield attributes, quality aspects and economic analysis.

The indigenous varieties performed substantially better compared to the high yielding varieties (HYV) concerning crop growth rate, (Luchai: 38.72 g m-2 day-1, HYV IR64: 15.19 g m-2 day-1), grain yield (Luchai: 18.09 t ha-1; HYV IR64: 2.58 t ha-1) and harvest index (Safari: 38.45%; HYV IR64: 27.20%). Concerning methods of planting, BPR[5] and CTR[6] achieved highest values for plant height (58.27 cm). SRI[7] and BPR achieved highest number of tillers hill-1 (10.40; 7.00, resp.) and highest values for dry weight (36.41; 23.01 g plant-1, resp.). The best B: C ratio was observed for BPR and SRI (1.62;1.60, resp.). Inorganic treatment[8] achieved slightly higher values compared to the organic sources for plant height, number of tillers hill-1 and relative growth rate and showed higher values for most yield attributes.

Indigenous varieties, the methods of planting SRI and BPR and the nutrient management, inorganic treatment, achieved best results for rain fed rice production in Mandla. Since the findings are based on the research done in one season it may be repeated for confirmation.

[1] AEZ-5: Sub-humid Tropical Hilly/Plateau

[2] Indigenous varieties: Luchai, Bhadochinga, Araigutta, Safari; high yielding varieties (HYV): MTU 1010, IR 64

[3] DSR: direct seeded rice; BRP: beushening puddled rice; CTR: conventional transplanting rice; SRI: system of rice intensification

[4] inorganic source: 50 kg N ha-1 through FYM + 3% Matka khaad ;organic source: 100 kg N ha-1 through Urea + 5.25 kg Zn ha-1 through Zinc Sulphate

[5] BPR: beushening puddled rice

[6] CTR: conventional transplanted rice

[7] SRI: system of rice intensification

[8] 50 kg N ha-1 through FYM + 3% matka khaad