46 SAF-BIN farmers from Sagar, Satna and Mandla districts came together for a state level dissemination workshop on February 26, 2016 at XIDAS, Jabalpur.

The state level dissemination workshop aimed to bring together all the Village Research Assistants and lead farmers of 30 villages to share their experience and achievements.

Mr. Sunil Simon, Project Manager, SAF-BIN evoked farmers to celebrate and promise to continue this effort and don’t let it die. During the 5 years of journey farmers have graduated in many practices and demonstrated scientific aptitude.

Research Officer Mr. Pradipta shared the 5 years overall achievements of the project which is running in Bangladesh, India and Nepal. Project was able to increase the food security for smallholder farmers from 6 months to 10 months and doubled the food basket of the farmers. Showing the 5 years upward trends of trial, demonstration and upscaling, Mr. Pradipta applauded all the farmers for constructively implementing this project.

One of the biggest achievements of the project was Farmer learning’s which not only extended beyond project areas but reached national and international arena. In Birpur village of Satna exhibited 360 degree spread in terms of technology Dissemination by way of fellow farmers, relatives, friends, acquaintances etc.

Ray Singh Maravi, a progressive farmers from Mandla shared that after adopting the line sowing techniques introduced by SAF-BIN he received 9 quintals of paddy by using only 32kg seeds, which is a so far a great production till now.

Santosh Yadav in his words shared that now we realized the importance of cow urine and cow dung. We are using organic botanicals in our field instead of purchasing chemical fertilizer from market and it is helping us to increase our production.

We had no group culture, but now we have formed a smallholder group and taking decisions collectively after discussions shared one of the farmer.

“Climate Change is unavoidable and adaptive measures taught by SAF-BIN will help us to practice agriculture in a better way” said Fr. George, Director, JDSSS, Mandla. He further stated that it s not a end of a safbin program but a new beginning as the learning’s taken in the past 5 years will be tested in our fields.

“SAFBIN gave direction to the people and now we need to continue this project with the farmers as they need more hand holding” expressed Fr. Thomas Philip, Director, MVSSS, Sagar while sharing his thoughts with farmers.

Speaking at the occasion Fr. Rony from Satna Social Service Society said that “Work should continue whether Project stays or not”. The learning from the project is the guiding principles and now we need to move forward.

SAF-BIN team of Caritas India felicitated the Directors of Sagar, Satna and Mandla for their continuous and unconditional support towards implementation of the project. They also acknowledged the contributions of Fr. Mathew Vattakuzhy and the former directors of Sagar, Satna and Mandla dioceses to this initiative.

Village Research Assistants from all the three districts were presented certificates for their involvement and voluntary contributions towards SAF-BIN program.

At the conclusion of the workshop Mr. Sunil shared that through this project we have worked on empowering the Smallholder Farmer Collectives to collectively discuss and take decision in a participatory manner.

We have been able to develop and successfully test Smallholder Collective Led On-Farm Adaptive Research which has revolutionalised the farmers involvement in agricultural research. The end of the SAF-BIN should be a new beginning for the smallholder farmers in their journey toward self reliance.