Development Pathways of Upland Farmers in Selected Sites of Conservation Farming Villages (CFV) Program in the Philippines
This study analyzed the livelihoods of upland farmers in the pilot sites of Conservation Farming Villages in Ligao City, Albay and La Libertad, Negros Oriental, Philippines from 2000-2015. It also identified the development pathways based on the livelihood change in the 15-year period, and analyzed the determinants of farmers' choice of development pathways. Development pathway is a pattern of change in the livelihood strategies in response to stimuli. The focus group discussions and farm household survey involving 200 farmer-respondents revealed that from intensified food crops production in 2000-2005, the upland farmers have shifted to crop diversification and conservation farming practices combined with non-farm employment in 2006-2015. Thus, five development pathways were identified, namely: reduction of monocropping; expansion of conservation in monocropping; expansion of conservation in multiple cropping; intensification of agroforestry; and intensification of agroforestry with non-farm employment. Multinomial logistics regression revealed that age, income, and policies determine the farmers’ choice of development pathways. The pathway ‘intensification of agroforestry and non-farm employment’ has the highest likelihood of being chosen with a mean predicted probability of 0.40. There is a need to sustain the promotion of agroforestry and conservation farming practices in the upland communities, highlighting the economic and ecological services of agroforestry systems and conservation farming practices, and with active engagement of local governments.