Social Systems

Improving the methods and impacts of agricultural extension in conflict areas of Mindanao, Philippines

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Project code
ASEM/2012/063
Budget
AUD 2,602,445
Project leader
Dr Mary Johnson, RMIT University, Australia
Duration:
Project status
Concluded
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Overview

This project aimed to develop an improved ‘model’ for agricultural extension in conflict areas of Mindanao. 

Farming households within conflict-vulnerable areas of Mindanao face many challenges to improving their livelihoods. 

These include dislocation to farm activities, difficulty in accessing markets, uncertainty about long-term investment in farm infrastructure, lack of social cohesion and isolation from government information and services. 

Previous ACIAR-funded work in other areas of Mindanao has highlighted how certain types of community-based extension methods can rapidly improve livelihoods of farming households. This project aims to refine and evaluate these extension methods in the more complex setting of conflict-vulnerable areas of western Mindanao. 

The project worked with relatively poor farmers to help improve and diversify their income away from single livelihood mainstays such as mono-cropping of corn and the environmentally destructive practice of charcoal production. Two new farmer enterprises – tree nursery production and high-value vegetable production – have been introduced and saw an almost complete cessation of charcoal production by participating communities.

Project outcomes

  • Successful livelihood development programs established with farming households and Local Government Unit (LGU) technicians in six pilot communities.
  • Tree nursery production and high-value vegetable production developed. Tree nursery activities added 10-20% to farmers’ annual income.
  • In each of the pilot sites, the livelihood development program is delivered  through an improved model for agricultural extension targeted at assisting agencies.
  • Women are taking leadership roles, building trust, maintaining farms and food production, initiating small enterprise and supporting community-based recovery processes.
  • The project collaborated with the Philippine Council for Agriculture Aquatic, and Natural Resources Research and Development at three new sites adjacent to the ACIAR project sites, to assist scaling-up of the project outcomes at the national government level. 
Map
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Key partners
Landcare Foundation of the Philippines Inc
University of the Philippines at Los Banos
University of the Philippines, Mindanao
Documents
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Fact sheet ASEM/2012/063