|Recording and Using Indigenous Knowledge: A Manual (IIRR, 1996, 211 p.)|
|Part 4 Mini-case studies - How development can build on IK|
Cavite, Albay, Cebul
Farmers in the Philippines often form informal mutual-help groups. These groups are called hunglunan in Albay province, alayon in Cebu, and tropa in Cavite. They usually consist of four to six, sometimes up to 10 or more members, who help one another with labor-intensive agricultural activities such as land preparation, planting, weeding, and harvesting. Members also help one another at social events such as fiestas and wedding=. Naturally, information is often shared by the group members IIRR used this traditional labor arrangement to implement its aroforestry projects in Albay and Cavite provinces.
The Upland Farm Management Project in St. Domingo, Albay, was initiated in 1986 by IIRR in collaboration with World Neighbors and the Mag-uugmad Foundation. It was to address problems experienced by marginal upland farmer soil erosion, poor soil fertility, lack of on-farm diversity, limited supply of fuel wood and fodder, low yields, and low cash income.
During the initial phase, the project arranged farmer-to-farmer visits with a similar project in Cebu which successfully used alayon to carry out labor-intensive activities. Once back in Albay, IlRR's farmer cooperators decided to form their own hungfunan. They started with one group in one village. After eight years, the project counted more than 40 hunglunan totaling 210 farmers in 10 villages adapting and adopting the agroforestry technologies offered by the project. IIRR staff considered ,., the hunglunan key to the fast spread of Agroforestry technologies in Bicol.
In Layong Mabilog, a village in Cavite, the introduction of soil and water conservation measures initially progressed very slowly because of the high labor intensity of these activities. During a village visit, IIRR staff observed a group of five to six farmers plowing a field. Realizing that farmers in Layong Mabilog were used to waking together, staff members explored with their cooperators the possibility of using tropa arrangements for the project. The farmers agreed and subsequently formed four groups whose members helped one another to plant farm hedgerows and build terraces. In Layong Mabilog, however, the project's technologies did not spread as widely as in Albay. One probable explanation is Layong Mabilog's proximity to Manila with its opportunities for employment.
Compiled by Raguelito M. Pastore, Samuel Operio and Evelyn Mathias Source: Librando 1994