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Community-based Participatory Action Research showcased promising results for empowering Ilocano farmers

Community-based Participatory Action Research showcased promising results for empowering Ilocano farmers

A development project that empowers local farmers is the subject of a research paper by agriculturists from the Ilocos Region during the 2023 National Symposium on Agriculture, Aquatic, and Natural Resources Research and Development (NSAARRD) last October 2023. 

Aimed at developing a sustainable enterprise for Ilocano farmers, the Department of Agriculture-Regional Field Office 1 (DA-RFO 1) designed and implemented an integrated production management system based on the Community-based Participatory Action Research (CPAR) framework for farmers in Dingras and Paoay, Ilocos Norte. CPAR seeks to establish an effective and efficient transfer and adoption of technologies based on the needs of specific communities. It aims to address socioeconomic challenges faced by farmers by equipping them with technologies and supplementary trainings to improve their production and post-production systems. 

Among the project's interventions is the establishment of model farms that utilize production technologies and practices. These model farms feature the rice-rice-mungbean and rice-white corn farming systems. These technologies and practices include using quality hybrid planting materials, straight-row establishment method, Rice Crop Manager usage, and balanced pesticide use strategy.

Project results show that farm production has improved with the aforementioned technologies. Participating farms that implemented the rice-rice-mungbean system yielded an average yield of 4.55 tons per hectare (t/ha) for the first harvest of rice, which is 12% higher than the benchmark. For the second harvest, the farm recorded an average yield of 4.39 t/ha, which is 30% higher than the benchmark. For mungbean, the farming system allowed production to surpass benchmark numbers by 23%. Respectively, a similar improvement in yield was recorded in the rice-white corn farming system.

Following these, the annual profit of the participating farms also improved. The rice-rice-mungbean farming system recorded a profit of around P60,000 per hectare, a significant leap from the benchmark income of P30,000. A similar increase in profit was also evident in the rice-white corn farming system.

According to Ms. Reinamae G. Banquirig, one of the study leaders of the project, empowering farming is critical in transforming rice-based farms into farm enterprises.

“Kapag pagsamasamahin ang apat na factors na improved production technologies, integration of production and marketing services, social networking and linkage, complemented with building capacities of farmers, and we put it into action within the community, ay magiging sustainable yung ating community-based farm enterprise,” Banquirig expressed.

NSAARRD 2023

Ms. Reinamae Banquirig, Science Research Specialist of DA-RFO 1, presents their development project at the 2023 National Symposium on Agriculture, Aquatic, and Natural Resource Research and Development. (Image credit: Paul Katimbang, ACD, DOST-PCAARRD)

The project, “Transforming Rice-Based Farms Into Farm Enterprises: A Community-Based Development Project In Ilocos Norte,” was the 1st runner-up for the Development Category at the 2023 NSAARRD. Led by the Philippine Council for Agriculture, Aquatic and Natural Resources Research and Development of the Department of Science Technology (DOST-PCAARRD), NSAARRD showcases the most outstanding contributions of individuals and institutions in the field of agriculture, aquatic, and natural resources research and development.