Head of Food Security, Caritas Austria visit SAFBIN field in India

Happy to see that women and children have improved awareness and access to Balanced diet and the integrated farming system approach is contributing to food security and resilience”, said Helen Unterguggenberger, Head of Food Security Programmes, Caritas Austria during her visit to SAFBIN programme in Madhya Pradesh This was her first visit to SAFBIN India before the SAFBIN Review meet at Bangkok. She was accompanied by Sunil Simon, Head of South Asia Regional Enablers (SARE) of SAFBIN program to Sagar District on November 4, 2019. The visit was coordinated by Caritas India in support of the implementing partner organisation Manav Vikas Seva Sangh to Hanumantora village of Shahgarh block.

Manisha and her husband Sanyashi, one of the progressive farming families from the programme shared about the benefit of integrated farming system, multi-tier orchard, no-cost bio-nutrient and installation of innovative drip system by reducing almost 30% of his input cost to make agriculture more profitable.

“Though I lost my whole black gram due to uncertain heavy rainfall in October, but SAFBIN helped me to secure the food requirements of my family by cultivating millet, other cereals as an alternative crop, increasing farm components and reuse of own farm resources to reduce my input cost”, testified Puran Singh, another farmer from the programme.

Helene was welcomed by the members of smallholder farmers collectives at the village resource centre of SAFBIN. She was explained the whole integrated farming system with live reference of the agro-ecological map and bio-resource flow chart which was highly appreciated by both the visitors.

Stakeholder involvement in every aspect is a major priority to access basic farm entitlement, networking, convergence, and dissemination of smallholder led initiative. Sarpanch of the village shared that the life of smallholders has transformed through SAFBIN’s initiative over the years by setting a few examples at Hanumantora village.

The joint initiative of SAFBIN in coordination with local Aanganwadi, Health Department & Nutrition Rehabilitation Centre (NRC) to address maternal care and child health nutrition was also shared by the local Anganwadi worker. The community-led model on a balanced diet was experienced through the behavioral change brought among all women.

Caritas India through its SAFBIN programme is working to build resilience to climate change while maintaining the farm ecosystem. The programme promotes traditional wisdom by enabling low cost, environment-friendly, simple and innovative local solutions.

“It is worth to see the changes that have brought in through SAFBIN. Especially small farm productions are becoming more resilient considering the climate variability and women are much more concern about the food they eat”, shared Helen after meeting with the farmers.

She also planted a fruit sapling at the village resource centre to encourage farmers to plant trees for their future generation.