SAFBIN – Strengthening small farmers in South Asia in times of climate change

The picture shows a woman showing crops

One third of all chronically undernourished people worldwide live in South Asia - a region that is affected hard by climate change. Unpredictable rainy seasons, heat waves and other weather extremes are increasingly affecting the already difficult living conditions of small farmers.

SAFBIN (Strengthening Adaptive Farming and BIodiversity Network) is a transnational regional programme in South Asia. It supports 4.300 households and more than 21.000 people in Bangladesh, India, Nepal and Pakistan in almost 100 villages to secure their livelihoods despite climate change. The programme runs from 2018 to 2022.

In South Asia about 70 percent of the people live from subsistence farming, they are self-sufficient to secure their own livelihood, most of them are small farmers. They are most affected by food insecurity worldwide, especially as a result of the increasingly effects of climate change. Caritas Austria has been supporting local Caritas organizations since 2011 in providing effective solutions for combating climate change and improving food security. In line with development goals of the United Nations (SDG's) and Caritas' vision "A world without hunger by 2030", SAFBIN will support more than 21.000 small farmers in coming years who are affected by the effects of climate change.

This is SAFBIN

Building on a five-year EU-funded research and development project in Bangladesh, India and Nepal, SAFBIN is currently also in Pakistan. Small farmers are not only the target group, they actively contribute to solve the problem and the consequences of climate change. After all, future of agriculture and achievement of various climate goals lies in the hands of small farmers. Within SAFBIN, they become researchers who can achieve higher yields with the simplest means (e.g. through greater species diversity and biodiversity, postponement of sowing, revitalization of resistant local varieties, etc.) and low resource consumption (e.g. by dispensing with chemical pesticides). At the same time, they are better protected against the consequences of climate change. There is also cooperation and exchange of knowledge across the political borders of four countries.

How SAFBIN works

Through modern cultivation methods, the small farmers receive a much higher yield per harvest. © Alexandra Wey

SAFBIN focuses on local and resistant varieties that are also resistant to consequences of climate change. © Alexandra Wey

Biodiversity and adaptation of agricultural practices are the most efficient ways to moderate consequences of climate change.

Wir>Ich: Partnership with research institutions and public authorities play a central role in SAFBIN

SAFBIN also supports small farmers in marketing their crop yields. © Alexandra Wey

The goals of SAFBIN

  • Doubling of production and income from agriculture for small farmers.
  • Securing access to and control over their own land, seeds, rights and know-how for small farmers.
  • Increasing resilience to consequences of climate change through diversity and adaptation of agricultural practices
  • Partnerships with research institutions and authorities
  • Promotion of marketing of sustainably produced food (Small-Farm-Agri-Foods) to consumers from urban middle class.

Our goal: To end the hunger until 2030

The pictures shows a group of peasants

In general, SAFBIN should also contribute to goal #2 of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs): "end hunger, achieve food security and better nutrition and promote sustainable agriculture". The goal is to achieve sustainable improvement for the nutritional situation of supported households and their ability to manage themselves. In specific terms this means:

  • supported households improve their nutrition in quantity and quality.
  • supported households have income to improve their living conditions.
  • supported households improve management and protection of their natural resources.
The picture shows a man holding crops

50 Euro: Support for small farmers and their families

With 50 Euro you support a family in a growing season.

On the one hand, seeds will secure the families' food supply. In addition, the small farmers will be trained in sustainable cultivation methods and seed propagation. SAFBIN smallholders have proven to be particularly resilient in the sudden Covid pandemic. While the entire rural sector struggled to cope with the sudden pandemic, the small farmers were able to benefit by producing their own food and thereby providing food security for their families. Another advantage of SAFBIN's small farmers is that the surplus harvest can be sold at markets, thus generating additional income for the families and children.

Donate now and support smallholder farmers and families!

If you would like to support a family in a growing season, you can specifically donate to the smallholder farmers of our SAFBIN programme. On one hand, seeds will secure the nutrition of the families, in addition, small farmers will be trained in sustainable cultivation methods and seed propagation. Thank you! 

Bank details: 

Erste Bank
IBAN: AT23 2011 1000 0123 4560

Donation purpose: "strengthening small farmers (SAFBIN)"


Or donate online now! (german only)

The picture shows  Raju Patel, peasant farmer in Hanumantora, Indien.

Raju Patel is a small farmer in Hanumantora

in the Madhya Pradesh region of India, where he’s been farming almost one hectare of land for over ten years.

It used to be impossible to have two harvests in one year.

Raju Patel,
peasant farmer about SAFBIN

Like many others in the region, Raju originally used conventional cultivation methods. To make ends meet, he had to use chemical fertilizers, intensive tillage and growth hormones to cultivate his fields, too - unfortunately without success. Caused by consequences of climate change (monsoon-like rainfall, long dry spells, etc.), crop yields became less. At some point it wasn’t enough to feed his own family.

The picture shows Raju Patel on his field.

Greater biodiversity and yields

In the course of SAFBIN's training, Raju's fields showed a trend reversal.

Small farmers cultivated their yields without monocultures or usage of chemical fertilizers and above all - supported by resistant varieties from the region - relied on biodiversity. His success proves him right: Today, seven different vegetable species grow on Raju's fields. Harvesting is no longer only once a year, but productive twice a year. Raju can not only feed his family, the increased crop yield also allows him to generate additional income for himself and his family. As Raju proudly says today: "The best thing about SAFBIN is that small farmers like me can take care of themselves and their families again and lead a self-determined life in dignity."


Helene Unterguggenberger

Head of Department Development Cooperation