By Estrella Z. Gallardo
A Community-based Participatory Action Research (CPAR) project conducted by the Department of Agriculture Regional Field Office 1 (DA-RFO 1), Provincial Government of Ilocos Norte, and the local government units (LGU) of Laoag and Batac, improved their ricebased farming system
The project titled, “CPAR on Integrated Rice-Based Farming System: An Approach towards Community Driven Agricultural Development in Ilocos Norte,” led by Mark Ariel Agresor of DA-RFO 1 was implemented in 2012 to address the low yield of agricultural production in the province.
Agresor, the project team guided the rice-based farming communities in assessing their existing resources and constraints by identifying appropriate location-specific technologies, and in managing their production systems, through the CPAR approach
The project was funded by DA-Bureau of Agricultural Research (DA-BAR).
Thirty-eight farmers committed their 20 hectare farms as technology demonstration sites to showcase two cropping and livestock patterns: the rice-rice-mungbean+cattle fattening for irrigated areas and rice+winged bean-corn+cattle fattening for rainfed areas.
Technologies introduced in the two cropping systems include the integrated nutrient management, integrated pest management, and farm waste management for crop production; and improved breeds and crossbreeds, health and nutrition management, and farm waste management for cattle fattening production.
Adoption of these crop-livestock farming systems and integrated crop management technologies resulted in the increase in rice productivity by 12% and 21% in irrigated and rainfed areas, respectively, during wet season; and by 16% during dry season. Likewise, there was 100% increase in mungbean production, 41% in corn production, and 348% in winged bean production.
In irrigated rice-based farming communities that practice rice-rice-mungbean cropping system, the net income increased from ₱25,132.84 to ₱49,864.19 after the adoption of recommended technologies while rice-rice-mungbean+cattle fattening production system yielded a net income of ₱66,394.07.
In rainfed areas, on the other hand, rice-winged bean-corn cropping system has a benchmark net income of only ₱6,194.23 which increased to ₱26,586.69 after the adoption of recommended technologies. By integrating cattle fattening in the cropping system, the farmers received an average of ₱33,727.91 which is 444% higher than the benchmark income.
After four years of implementation, the project directly benefitted 243 farmers through technology adoption.
Twenty-seven capability building activities resulted in improved human capital of 38 farmer-cooperators and 1,306 trained participants, which helped usher opportunities for community project development. Human and social capital of the farming families also increased, inspiring 246 beneficiaries to be expanded-cooperators and 379 as adopters with 100% rate of adoption.
Through the CPAR approach, the wide scale adoption and upscaling of location specific technologies was achieved and is being sustained by the LGUs after its completion in 2016.
The project, which was funded by DA-Bureau of Agricultural Research (DA-BAR), is one of the three finalists in the National Symposium on Agriculture, Aquatic and Natural Resources Development (NSAARRD) development category. Along with Agresor, it was authored by Melinda G. Calumpit, Evelyn delos Reyes, Justina Sacro, Joi Labii, and Eliemar Ragadi.
NSAARRD is being spearheaded by the Philippine Council for Agriculture, Aquatic and Natural Resources Research and Development of the Department of Science and Technology (DOST-PCAARRD) and held as one of the highlight activities during DOST-PCAARRD anniversary celebrations.
PCAARRD will celebrate its eight anniversary on June 19, 2019 at the Philippine International Convention Center (PICC), Pasay City, where it will recognize the effort of its partners through NSAARRD (Philippines Press Club, Inc. (PPCI)).