Operationalization of community-based coastal resource management
Coastal resource management had a late start in Phase 2, starting only late 1996 and in just 1 pilot municipality at that. Despite this, by the end of Phase 2 quite some progress have been made.
Coastal resource management is now in place in 4 municipalities. There is active local government support. Municipal and barangay FARMCs have been organized. Fish wardens have been trained and fish examiners have been accredited by the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources. A number of projects have also been implemented and these include: marine sanctuary, mangrove rehabilitation, deep-sea fishing, otoshi-ami (set fish trap), seaweed production, and crab fattening.
54 BFARMCs (barangay fisheries and aquatic resource management councils) were organized. Each BFARMC has 17 members: Barangay council member in charge of agriculture and fisheries, at least 8 fisherfolk representatives (including youth and women representatives), NGO representatives, and private sector representatives.
The BFARMCs later banded into 4 municipal federations (MFARMCs).
The LIPASECU bay management council was organized covering 4 municipalities in northern Antique (Libertad, Pandan, Sebaste, and Culasi). Originally thought of as a consortium of the 4 municipal governments involved, it was expanded to include municipal FARMCs, municipal agricultural offices, law enforcement agencies, and NGOs.
The Council now has an office built from Provincial Government contribution, a patrol boat from the Department of Agriculture, and operating funds from cash contributions of the 4 municipal governments involved.
The council sees the following as its major concerns:
1. Preparation of a comprehensive and integrated bay resource management plan taking into account all fishing activities and other related activities in the area with a view toward sustainable utilization of resources
2. Coordination with concerned agencies on measures and developmental activities pertaining to the preservation and utilization of fishing and marine resources in the bay. (These measures include enforcement of fishery laws.)
3. Generation, mobilization, and disbursement of funds intended for the operations of the council and the implementation of the bay resource management plan.
4. Acting as an advisory body to the local executives and the Sanggunian Bayans concerned on matters relating to bay management.
Income generation through on-farm activities
Rice farming remained the dominant on-farm activity for a large majority of assisted households. While on one hand the ANIAD program campaigned against mono-culture of rice, on the other hand it provided support to rice farmers for one cropping season per year. This is mainly in the form of credit for fertilizer.
Improved varieties of rice seeds were also made available to farmers through seed-growing arrangements with 3 cooperatives. Foundation seeds were obtained directly from Luzon. These were tested locally and the resulting certified seeds were given to contracted seed growers for propagation.
The seed-growing arrangement had the desired effect of shortening the introduction period for improved rice varieties (usually, improved seeds become available locally 3 years after approval by the Philippine Seed Board). The involved cooperatives also serve as alternative to the cartel of certified seed growers (who are usually rich farmers), offering seeds of similar, if not better, quality for lesser price (albeit lacking formal government certification).
OPA is now seeking to expand this seed-growing arrangement.
The IPM project had the effect of increasing farm yield (probably due to more systematic cultivation and more time spent by farmers in their farm) when most farmers would have been satisfied if production did not go down. Thus participating farmers gained in three ways: increased gross income (because of higher yield), increased net income because of lesser production cost (zero or reduced use of pesticides led to savings of P1000 to P2000 pesos per hectare per cropping season or 12% to 25% cost reduction), and higher sales because of the premium paid on pesticide-free rice, especially the Masipag varieties, by ecologically and health conscious consumers.
IPM was introduced through season-long (14 to 16 weeks) farmers' field schools (FFS) in 132 barangays. More than 3700 farmers were trained (of which 26% were women).
The emphasis on "high-value" crops under the CID project stimulated farmers to shift from rice during the second and/or third cropping season. CID covered 62 barangays and more than 1600 farmers were involved (50% of which were women). The "high-value" crops given attention were: peanut, garlic, chayote, ginger, ampalaya, carrots, cabbage, and eggplant.
Net income from "high-value" crops were 10 % (mungbean and peanut) to 700% (onion and garlic) higher than income from rice. From a purely financial point of view therefore the motivation to adopt CID was clear. But CID adoption was lower than expected because of the following reasons:
Seed-growing arrangements with 6 cooperatives were made under the CID project for peanut, corn, and mungbean. The seed-growing project was relatively successful for two croppings but El Niño and storage problems took their toll on corn and mungbean. Only peanut seeds are available for distribution by the end of Phase 2. The little left of corn and mungbean have to be reserved for the seed growers themselves. At any rate, new seeds have to be procured soon from the Institute of Plant Breeding as later generations of seeds tend to degenerate or lose their potency.
Income generation through off-farm activities
The bulk of activities financed either through loan or grant under ANIAD were agricultural in nature. This is especially true in the case of group projects as farmers tend to be the majority in most POs. Off-farm activities flourished only when the special project for the landless was started and when individual loans became possible with the participation of Bugasong MPC and Patnongon MPC as credit managers. While some of the household projects funded were still farming-related (for example, provision of draft carabao), majority of the projects were more enterprising.
Among the off-farm projects funded were: small "sari-sari" store, buying and selling of ready-to-wear clothes (in reality, a good deal of bartering rice for clothes goes on), bolo-making, radio repair, bakery, formulation of herbal medicine, beauty parlor, fast food stall, candy-making, fish vending, and backyard hog raising (the last was actually discouraged because of past experiences in other programs but it remained popular among the landless).
The projects helped the implementors a lot by generating a relatively steady cash flow. This was particularly important during the traditionally lean months in between harvest.
Sustainability of resource base and production system
Soil and water conservation (SWC), mainly through sloping agricultural land technology (SALT) and reforestation, are now practiced by more than 3500 farmers (36% are women) in 142 barangays. Some 2300 hectares have been covered in various stages of development.
There are also around 520 hectares of fruit-tree and timber-tree plantations developed in sites where SALT is not needed or not applicable.
SALT committees have been organized in 107 barangays, 53 of these under the existing PO in the barangay.
On a slightly bigger scale, microwatersheds in 18 barangays were rehabilitated to protect existing infrastructure (spring boxes of potable water supply systems, intake dams and canals of irrigation systems, pen stock and sluices of microhydro-electric projects, access trails, small farm reservoirs, etc. Some 50 hectares out of the targeted 81 hectares have been replanted under this scheme.
The results are quite mixed for this project. Over-all survival rate for trees planted was 56%. In one site very little survived (this was in the southernmost site where the climate was dry, more so because of El Niño); in four sites only around 10% survived; on the other hand, in four sites more than 95% survived. Technicians attribute the poor results to late planting and unsuitable soil (the latter arose because the choice of sites was left to farmers without the necessary soil tests). In general, results were better in older sites (where the trees are hardened and more mature) than in new sites.
With regards to ensuring continued farm viability and to protecting soil fertility, the IPM project placed emphasis on cultural management, use of organic fertilizer, indigenous botanical control, and maintaining balance among friendly insects and "enemy" pests (on the principle that friendly insects can control pest population).
Of the more than 3700 graduates of IPM farmers' field schools, 14% are practicing pesticide-free farming, 52% are not using insecticides anymore, and 68% are doing composting and not burning their rice straws. In general, those who still use pesticides have reduced both frequency of application and dosage.
Ecologically sound farming was further promoted through the introduction of Masipag rice seeds. These seeds come from traditional varieties and have more resistance to pests and disease. The orthodox use of these seeds in fact preclude the use of pesticides and rely instead on strict IPM methods.
In 1998, IPM for mango and vegetables was also started in a limited number of pilot sites (5 sites for mango with 179 graduates; 8 sites for vegetables with 222 graduates). Early results indicate reduced use of pesticides, new adopters in addition to the graduates, better quality of produce, and more demand from buyers.
Land use planning was done mostly at farm level. Unfortunately, little use was made of maps commissioned for selected watershed areas covered by ANIAD. The maps were of such scale (a square unit represented 25 hectares) that farmers and technicians have difficulty in appreciating their usefulness.
The farm plans prepared by farmers were practical and served as a useful guide for SWC implementation.
At another level, the microwatershed rehabilitation and protection projects used parcellary maps detailing core critical areas (for immediate intervention) and influence or expansion areas.
It helped that the provincial government was able to generate a general classification of soil types for the province. From this, crop suitability maps were made, as well as cropping calendars. A number of technicians were trained on soil testing and provided kits for field verification.
Productivity in farming systems
The construction of new irrigation systems and the rehabilitation of damaged ones were major interventions to improve the productivity of rice farms and, in later cases, farms planted also to other crops during the second or third cropping season.
Because of irrigation, it became possible for core service areas to have 5 crops in 2 years instead of the usual 1 crop per year. It became less risky also to go into non-rice crops during the 3rd cropping season.
In Phase 2, ANIAD undertook the rehabilitation of 2 systems damaged by floods (Ilaures and Panganta, the expansion of 1 system (Borocboroc) and the construction of 4 new systems (Igmasandig, Iglinab, Pandanan-Binanogan, and Carawisan).
The heavy floods during the 4th quarter of 1995, although unusual (the last one happened over 50 years ago), raised questions about the viability and cost effectiveness of systems drawing water from large rivers. Consequently, ANIAD opted for smaller systems drawing water from small but multiple sources (such as springs, creeks, and small reservoirs). The last 4 systems constructed under ANIAD are of this type. A small system also lessens the temptation to produce rice all year round thus farmers can give better consideration to non-rice crops during the third or even the second cropping season.
Some 732 farmers benefited from the irrigation systems constructed/rehabilitated in Phase 2. Total coverage area was 854 hectares.
7 small farm reservoirs were also constructed in 5 barangays to serve as source of water during dry months for non-rice crops. On the average, a small farm reservoir can irrigate 3 to 5 hectares.
Other relatively modest measures to improve farm productivity included provision of improved seeds, duck dispersal (3850 ducks to 122 farmers), and rice-fish culture (it was generally noted that fish and other aquatic life have returned in significant quantities in IPM farms).
Productivity in fishery systems
Several measures have been promoted under the coastal resource management program to improve fish spawning and growth conditions. Among these are the delineation of some 318 hectares of marine sanctuaries in 8 sites, the rehabilitation of 34 hectares of mangrove areas in 13 sites, and the establishment of 3 nurseries for nipa seedlings.
After only 1 to 2 years, there are already indications of increased fish population in the marine sanctuaries. Crabs have also returned to mangrove areas.
Among the fishery-related livelihood projects supported under ANIAD were: crab fattening in 4 sites (3 were successful), fish-cage culture in 2 sites, seaweed culture in 3 sites, tilapia culture in 3 sites, lapu-lapu culture in 1 site (not successful), and deep-sea fishing for 2 POs.