Jedess Miladel N. Salomon1, Annabella B. Tulin2 and Janice Marie S. Monderondo2
This study documented how upland farm households make use of the available, albeit meager, resources in their environment. Through focus groups discussions, household interviews and observation, it attempts to understand how they make use of their intimate knowledge of their surroundings to make a livelihood. More than half of the 30 households included in the study were tenants. Their agricultural practices were based on traditional beliefs and years of observation and experience on when to plant, how to ensure a bountiful harvest, soil management and pest control. Crops which are drought-resistant and require no agro-chemicals were preferred. Moreover, they classified soil based on color and texture. This was their guide in planting certain crops in each type of soil. It was common for them to have two or more sources of income because farm produce was not enough to meet their basic needs. These include wage laboring and selling of goods.
This case study illustrates the importance of indigenous or local knowledge to agriculture by providing farm households with adaptive strategies. It is therefore important that this knowledge system be taken into account in the development and implementation of programs which aim to improve the agricultural and economic productivity of farm households in marginal uplands.
Keywords: agriculture, soil classification, coping and adaptation