Farmer-led soil conservation initiative in a developing Country setting: the case of the claveria land care Association in claveria, misamis oriental, Philippines
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In the middle of 1996, a group of 20 fanners in Claveria, Misamis Oriental, formed an organization called the Claveria Land Care Association (CLCA) under the support and patronage of the International Centre for Research on Agroforestry (lCRAF). The objective of the organization was to promote the use of contour plowing through a farmer-to-fanner approach. By the year 2000, the CLCA had members in 105 sitios while the absolute number of adopters of contour plowing has almost doubled from the previous number of adopters. The CLCA is credited for the phenomenal rise in fanners that have switched to contour plowing in Claveria. This study investigates the CLCA phenomenon by: (1) documenting the events .leading to fanner awareness of soil erosion problems.in Claveria and the options available to combat them; (2) documenting its evolution from a low-key fanner organization to a high-profile promoter of soil conservation; (3) determining the characteristics and activities of the CLCA sub-chapters that made significant influence on adoption of contour plowing; (4) determining the characteristics of the farmers who perceive themselves as members of the CLCA; (5) determining the parcel and fanner characteristics that influence adoption; and (6) identify the future challenges that the CLCA sitio-based organizations face. Using primary data collected from a survey of274 randomly-selected farmers from 45 sitios in the municipality of Claveria, a probit analysis was done to determine the statistical association between perception of membership, and the farmers' socio-economic characteristics, ties with the community and participation in community activities, The probit analysis was also utilized to test the statistical relationship between adoption of contour plowing, and the variables farmers' socioeconomic traits, parcel characteristics and perception of membership. The results indicate that attendance in cross-visits and sitio meetings, and those that lived close to Claveria are more likely to perceive themselves as members of the CLCA. Further, number of parcels tilled by the farmer, attendance in training and sitio meetings, slope of the parcel tilled, and the area of the parcel have a significant statistical association with contour farming adoption. The study also found that the CLCA lacks self-sufficiency in funds generation and needs to lock down on the membership selection criteria and benefits in order to sustain its activities in the future. The CLCA's mechanism for participatory governance and democratic selection of its leaders is well in place. The results and insights gained from the findings of this research paper are relevant for policy makers and development project designers in creating programs and schemes aimed at catching the "elusive" adopters of technology -- traditional farmers from the developing countries.