'Ending hunger by 2030': the Caritas Asia program for small farmers

The project is entitled " Smallholder Adaptive Farming and Biodiversity Network". The goal is to defeat hunger for 7,500 families and 40 thousand people. In India, the program will be implemented in Madhya Pradesh by two local Church organizations.

New Delhi (AsiaNews / Agencies) - Safbin is the name and the goal is a bold one: Ending hunger in South Asia by 2030. It is the new program launched by the Caritas Asia Regional Conference meeting held in Bangkok. The acronym stands for "Smallholder Adaptive Farming and Biodiversity Network" and the initiative is aimed at the development of agriculture and the improvement of the conditions of rural populations. The final aim, the promoters maintain, is to eliminate hunger for 7,500 families and 40,000 people.

The project was launched last 11 June and involves four countries of the Indian subcontinent: Bangladesh, India, Nepal and Pakistan. It will be coordinated by Caritas Austria, with the strategic partnership of Caritas Switzerland and Caritas Asia, which will provide the necessary resources for the whole project. It wants to transmit "good practices" and support small landowners.

Speaking at the presentation, Christoph Schweifer, general secretary of Caritas Asia, said: "Safbin is a one-of-a-kind program. This is really challenging but it is achievable, through hard work, cooperation and collaboration of all actors together. We all need to focus on a partnership of shared responsibility for a big goal and we all will have to act as enablers in the service of farmers".

With this program, Caritas Asia adheres to the second version of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG 2) set out by the United Nations for the period 2015-2030. It is a series of policies to be applied throughout the world to achieve some fundamental results by 2030. Among these: to defeat hunger and poverty; guarantee a healthy life and promote the well-being of all; provide quality education; ensure the availability and sustainable management of water and sanitation.

"Safbin" will tend to obtain some goals in the States in which it will be applied: double the agricultural production and harvests; guarantee access to a balanced diet and self-sufficiency of nutrition; control of land and ensure the obtainment of subsidies; increase the resilience in case of environmental disasters. The program also wants to involve students and researchers from all over the world; encourage the sharing of knowledge and local "eco-friendly" solutions.

As for India, the program will be applied by two organizations operating in three districts of Madhya Pradesh: the first is Manav Vikas Seva Sangh (Mvsss), the Society for Human Development of the diocese of Sagar, founded 27 years ago and present in 286 villages; the second, Jabalpur Diocesan Social Service Society (Jdsss), the social service society of the diocese of Jabalpur, active since 1993 in support of the educational, health, agricultural and environmental sectors.