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Land for Food: The Peace and Equity Foundation–Malaga Cuenca Agrarian Reform Cooperative (PEF–MACARBEN) Agrarian Reform–Block Farming Case Study

The flagship agrarian reform program of the Philippines was envisioned to improve the welfare of farmers and farmworkers. However, most successful redistribution cases lack appropriate support for transition, making the forfeiture of their newly awarded land more attractive than maintaining it. Block farming was envisioned to help with this transition. However, anecdotes continue to surface of block farm members pole vaulting, leasing, or selling their parcels of the block farm. This case study applies value chain analysis and a capabilities approach to welfare frameworks to analyze the experience of one such group of agrarian reform beneficiaries. It proposes a reframing of the metrics used to evaluate such programs in the context of an external funding agency such as the Peace and Equity Foundation (PEF). This study finds that inefficiencies in the sugar industry leave little room for intervention. As such, the process of land redistribution should be concerned not only with the transfer of rights to the land, but also with the inherited asset specificity and uncertainty within the primary activities of the value chain, the ingrained roles and identities of the various actors within it, and their order in society.


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