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CPAf staff present papers in an international conference on food and agriculture

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CPAf staff presented three research papers at the 2017 International Conference on Food and Agriculture (ICFA) held on March 2-3 at SEARCA, Los Baños, Laguna. Themed “Sharing Knowledge, Creating Solutions: Capacitation Stakeholders of Agriculture for Future Earth,” the conference was organized by the Department of Agricultural and Applied Economics, College of Economics and Management, UPLB.

The conference covered four sub-themes: Food Security, Poverty and Rural Development, Climate Change Consequences on Agricultural and Food Production Systems, Globalization and Regional Integration Challenge, and Human Capital Development and Innovation and Technology for Sustainable Agriculture. Among the paper presenters under Food Security sub-theme were CPAf faculty, Dr. Evelie P. Serrano and Dr. Jaine C. Reyes. 

Dr. Serrano’s paper was titled “Towards Sustainable Agriculture and Food Security: Co-optation of Indigenous and Modern Farming Practices among Tagbanua Farmers in Calauit, Palawan, Philippines.” She shared that Tagbanua farmers merge indigenous and modern farming practices to maximize available resources and secure their food supply while protecting their environment. For example, farmers practice multi-cropping and integrated farming to ensure the availability of food throughout the year. They also use locally available organic materials and organic insecticide.

Meanwhile, Dr. Reyes presented a paper on “Institutional Arrangements and Stakeholders’ Perceptions in the Promotion of Labeling of Organic Products in Selected Provinces in the Philippines.” She discussed the functions and activities of various institutions that are involved in the promotion, advocacy, and education of organic products. These institutions include government agencies (GAs), local government units, academic institutions, and advocacy groups. Dr. Reyes also reported that more rice farmers than vegetable farmers use label on their organic products. She also presented the labeling preferences and perceptions of stakeholders. This paper is based on one of the studies of a research project funded by the DA-Bureau of Agricultural Research (BAR) entitled “Policy Support to Organic Agriculture for the Rice and Vegetable Industry in Selected Study Sites,” which was headed by Dr. Agnes C. Rola, also a CPAf faculty. Dr. Reyes also served as one of the moderators of the Poverty and Rural Development sub-theme.  

In the same sub-theme, CPAf University Research Associate Samantha Geraldine G. De los Santos reported that corn farmers are ageing, have diversified income sources that improved their income, and have smaller family size (four members) as compared with the national statistics (five members) prevalent among farmers. This is contrary to the common description of farming households in literature, who are described as poor and have large family sizes. In a paper titled “From Here to the Future: Peering into the Present-Day Economic and Demographic Conditions of Filipino Farmers for Implications to the Future of Philippine Agriculture,” Ms. De los Santos proposed the conduct of in-depth studies on the effects of farmers’ smaller family size, ageing population, and income diversification to agriculture. 

The 2-day conference aimed to bring together various stakeholders (i.e., researchers, policymakers) to discuss issues, explore options, and nurture partnerships particularly on research collaboration. It was conducted in partnership with SEARCA; DA-BAR; DOST-Philippine Council for Agriculture, Aquatic and Natural Resources Research and Development; and International Rice Research Institute.  (by Stella Concepcion R. Britanico)

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