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Can rubber-based cropping improve productivity and income for smallholder farmers in southern Philippines

This project aims to reduce poverty in marginalised upland communities of the southern Philippines through developing a rubber-based cropping system that increases smallholder farmers' income through diversifying crops and better managing soil nutrients.
Agusan del Sur is one of the poorest provinces in the Philippines, and 37% of households were below the poverty threshold in 2013. Most of these households belong to indigenous or smallholder farmers who have poor access to technology and depend on subsistence farming on their small piece of land (3-5 hectares). In line with the National Government's rubber program which aims to address poverty, the Provincial Government of Agusan del Sur (PGAS) is committed to increasing rubber areas and production in the next few years by providing quality planting materials to interested smallholders.
Around 22,000 poor households or smallholder farmers in Agusan del Sur are expected to benefit from the program. Research is, however, required to use and manage these vulnerable upland areas appropriately