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Practice of Biodiversity conservation and Agroecology Enhance Climate Change Resilience of Organized Small Scale Organic Farmers in the Philippines

Medina, Charito P. (2014) Practice of Biodiversity conservation and Agroecology Enhance Climate Change Resilience of Organized Small Scale Organic Farmers in the Philippines. Paper at: IFOAM Organic World Congress 2014, Istanbul, Turkey, 13-15 October 2014. [Completed]

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Summary

Conservation and utilization of rice varieties by small scale farmers in the Philippines for more than two decades has led to retrieval of more than a thousand varieties of rice. The variety of rice plant characters like performance under organic farming, growth duration, height, differential resistance to pests and diseases, adaptation to climate change as well as eating quality has challenged farmers to learn breeding from their scientist partners. As a result of breeding, more than a thousand improved rice varieties were developed plus about 500 breeds developed by farmers themselves. Farmers maintain the rice varieties in trial farms which contain at least 50 varieties. MASIPAG has developed a conservation support system through a national backup farm, regional back up farm, and to some extent, provincial back up farm.
Farmers and their organizations are indispensable in the development and practice of agroecology to challenge the dominant agricultural paradigm of ‘modern’, chemical and GMO farming. Small scale farmers who were disillusioned with chemical farming are now converting into organic and agroecological technologies. MASIPAG farmer were trained to develop skills of observation, trial and erro,r and establishing cause-and-effect, some of the rudiments of science. Consequently, many farmers have developed and adapted technologies on seeds, agronomic, soil and nutrient management, alternative pest management, storage, processing and marketing. Organic farming is then more sustainable with nutrient integration, and cultivation of below and above ground biodiversity with a resulting ecosystem of enhanced biological interactions and synergism.
Farmer-to-farmer diffusion of seed and agroecology approaches has made organic farming diffuse in Farmers’ Organizations (PO/FO) and very cost effective because the users of technologies are right at where the technologies are developed. The technologies developed are what the farmers need. Due to common language, farmers understand more the other farmers compared to technical extension workers who often have different perspectives and priorities. The organized farming community enhances self confidence of other farmers in converting into organic and agroecological approaches based on the actual experiences and testimonies of other farmers.
The use of agrobiodiversity makes seeds in the hands of the small scale farmers resulting to less external cost in production and the differential responses of varieties, crops and livestocks to climate change is a built-in insurance and reduce exposure to losses. Agroecology methods make organic farming more sustainable. Both of the above contribute to greater capacity for resilience of farmers in the face of climate change.


EPrint Type:Conference paper, poster, etc.
Type of presentation:Paper
Keywords:Agroecology, Biodiversity conservation, Climate Change
Subjects:"Organics" in general
Farming Systems > Social aspects
Environmental aspects > Biodiversity and ecosystem services
Research affiliation: International Conferences > 2014: 18th IFOAM OWC Practitioners Track
Philippines > Other organizations
Deposited By: Medina, Dr Charito
ID Code:23837
Deposited On:29 Jan 2015 15:13
Last Modified:29 Jan 2015 15:13
Document Language:English
Status:Unpublished
Refereed:Not peer-reviewed

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