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.


  • Effect of sowing date and varietal selection on the growth and yield of blackgram (Vigna mungo L.) under rainfed farming in the context of climate change in Sagar (Madhya Pradesh)

  •   | 
  • 01/04/2016

Pramod Kumar completed this MSc research thesis at the Sam Higginbottom Institute of Agriculture, Technology and Sciences (SHIATS), Allahabad, Uttar Pradesh, India within our project.


Blackgram is an important crop in India in terms of quantity (highly consumed) and quality (good protein and mineral source). There are, however, growing constraints for the yield of blackgram (e.g. disease), due to increasing climate variabilities.

The experiment was conducted to evaluate the performance of blackgram varieties[1] in regards to different sowing dates under rainfed farming and climate change condition, in order to achieve optimum yield.

The on farm-research trial was carried out in 10 villages of Sagar district in Madhya Pradesh, during the Kharif season, 2013. Six treatment combinations[2], based on different sowing dates and blackgram varieties, were conducted in a randomized block design with four replications each. Growth parameters, yield attributes, post-harvest quality factors and economic analysis were undertaken.

Early sowing of backgram seeds (3rd week of June) recorded maximum values among all sowing dates, for most growth and yield parameters such as plant height (49.81 cm), number of leaves plant-1 (52.12), number of branches plant-1 (6.68), number of nodules plant-1 (77.56) at 60 DAS[3] and relative growth rate (0.048 g g-1 day-1) at 45-60 DAS. Analyzing the performance of blackgram varieties, Shikhar 3 showed highest values for plant height (49.81 cm), dry weight (8.95 g plant-1), crop growth rate (14.76 g m-2 day-1) and relative growth rate (0.053 g g-1 day-1) both at 45 to 60 DAS. Moreover it achieved higher pods plant-1 (29.00), test weight (32.85 g) and seed yield (680 kg ha-1). The highest gross return (28625.00 ha-1), net return (19175.00 ha-1) and benefit cost ratio (3.02) was registered in treatment T1 (Sowing date: 3rd week of June + Shikhar 3). It also achieved highest quality factors in terms of protein content (23.12%).

Sowing date 3rd week of June, in combination with Shikhar 3 variety was found to be the best combination to obtain highest seed yield and benefit cost ratio in the tested region. The learning of the experiment should scaled-up for strengthening the model of FPDCS[4] among more small-holders farmers in this area.

[1] Indigenous variety: Khajua; high yielding variety: Shikhar 3         


T1: Sowing date (3rd week of June 2013) + Shikhar 3  

T2: Sowing date (3rd week of June 2013) + Khajua                        

T3: Sowing date (4th week of June 2013) + Shikhar 3

T4: Sowing date (4th week of June 2013) + Khajua  

T5*: Sowing date (1st week of July 2013) + Shikhar 3 * replicated only twice                   

T6*: Sowing date (1st week of July 2013) + Khajua * replicated only twice   

[3] DAS: days after sowing

[4] Food Production Distribution and Consumption System