SAFBIN Conducts its Second Annual Meeting online

The Second Annual Review Meeting of SAFBIN was held online on Skype from 11th to 14th May 2020. The Secretary General of Caritas Austria, Andreas Knapp participated in the meeting. He shared his appreciations and showed keen interest in the programme. Representatives from Caritas St. Pölten, Caritas Switzerland and Caritas Luxembourg were also part of the meeting.

The main agenda set for the meeting was:

1. Highlights and challenges based on the results (outputs)

2. COVID assessment and presentation of activity plan for the next one year

The review session started with the CI Food for all Campaign Prayer by Helene. She shared the review schedule with the participants and requested their suggestions for reorganising the sessions.

While deliberating on SAFBIN’s response to the COVID19 pandemic affecting the smallholder farmers, the programme’s strengths were identified based on the sharing of different case stories from all four countries. Inspiring stories of change were shared by each team. Most of the cases were reflecting the resilience of farmers associated with SAFBIN during COVID19 scenario. Following are the strengths of SAFBIN that were reflected in the stories shared by the teams that can be seen as strategies:

1. Agro-ecological practices: SAFBIN is promoting crop and farm diversification, Collectivisation, intensification, resource management, vegetable cultivation, mushrooms: Teams can focus on these while planning.

2. Human resource element: more trained farmers: extension agents, ambassadors. This has happened because of the capacity building and needs to continue in the COVID context.

a. Collectivisation: has helped in overcoming the crisis. It is a software kind of activity that can be taken forward.

3. Partnership and convergence: has complemented SAFBIN’s work. Let us keep some money for where convergence is not possible.

4. Knowledge partnership: students, research institutes are engaged with SAFBIN

As part of the Action Plans, teams will finalise the plan for COVID19 response for the next one year, keeping in mind the agricultural timeline. Focus will be given to Convergence and software activities to promote resilience and nutrition.

The Meeting concluded with the Secretary General of Caritas Austria appreciating the teams on the programme and conducting the virtual review meeting successfully. Teams were asked to reflect on further opportunities of virtual meetings for the benefit of all.