Planting for the Future: Options for Upland Grasslands in the Philippines
Canesio D. Predo
This research investigates which land use system would provide the most economic and environmental benefits to farmers of upland grassland areas in the Philippines. It analyses a number of different land-use systems and focuses on the benefits that tree-based systems can bring. It also investigates the main reasons why farmers are reluctant to change from their current unsustainable cropping regimes. It finds that it would make economic and environmental sense for farmers to convert a large percentage of their farms over to tree planting. It also finds that, although this would help halt the current slide into low productivity and environmental ruin, many farmers are reluctant to make the move because of the economic risks involved. In light of this the report suggest several policies to give farmers the assistance they need to make an environmentally-informed choice about which land use system to adopt. Many small farmers in Southeast Asia face an uncertain future as population pressure, climate change and other factors damage the profitability and sustainability of their smallholdings. One way forward may be for these farmers is to change the type of agriculture they practice to one that will guarantee a viable income and also keep the environment in good shape. This report has shown how to assess which land use is best for a certain land type. It also gives advice on how to help farmers make the necessary changes. This report showed that it would make economic and environmental sense for farmers in the country's upland grassland areas to convert a large percentage of their farms over to trees. It also found that, although this would help halt the current slide into low productivity and environmental ruin, many of these farmers were reluctant to make the move because of the economic risks involved. This research therefore suggested a number of policies that would help farmers make the switch.
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