Jan 03, 2022 to Dec 29, 2022
Funding Agency:
Philippine Institute for Development Studies
Focus Area(s):
Agriculture, Natural Resources, and Environmental Management

The United Nations has designated 2019 to 2028 as the decade of family farming. FAO has found that, within the world family farm sector, the vast majority of the world’s farms are small (under 2 ha), but control only a minority share of all agricultural lands (12 percent). This characterization of the status and needs of the small family farm sector holds for Philippine agriculture. In 2012 the average farm size was down to 1.3 ha, from 2.8 ha in 1980 (PSA, 2017). Rising population as well as the widespread implementation of land reform programs has led to fragmentation of farm holdings in the country. Currently, the Department of Agriculture (DA) is implementing a “one-DA” agenda with the aim of achieving “diversified agri-food systems through farm consolidation, clustering, modernization, industrialization, and professionalization backed by sound policy and supported through the delivery of agriculture and fishery services to achieve viable and sustainable business-oriented practices and enterprises.” Consolidation is seen as key to modernization and inclusive growth of agriculture, as organizing and registering smallholders offers access to capital, government programs, business services, and markets, while holding farm producers to its legal responsibilities in the realm of environmental, social, and tax compliance. Information about the small family farm abounds in the Philippines owing to numerous household surveys covering this sector. Relatively less systematic information has been compiled about the non-family farm sector, which is the formal and organized sector in farming. The formal sector is also the world in which registered farmer organizations such as cooperatives and other associations function. Gaining better understanding about the formal agricultural sector is critical to understanding the role and potential of access to markets and technology, networking, and formalization, in modernizing the vast small family farm system of the country. The general objective is to characterize the formal agricultural sector in the country, as a model for understanding the potential for transitioning the small family farm system into the modern organized farm system.

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