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Publication Detail
ISPPS WP 2003-09: Agricultural Sustainability in the Industrializing Uplands: Will Security of Tenure Still Matter?

One goal of securing land tenure in the upland is for farm owners to practice sustainable agriculture and thereby secure their livelihood. But recent field observations show that upland farm owners tend to lease their land to commercial crop growers who have short-term objectives. This paper investigates the reasons behind farmers decisions to rent their land. The paper first presents the history of upland tenurial system in the Philippines. The role of tenure in sustainable agriculture is examined using case study data from an upland municipality in Bukidnon. Bukidnon is the site of a long-term project entitled Sustainable Agriculture and Natural Resource Management- Collaborative Research Support Program (SANREM-CRSP) for Southeast Asia. The results show that farmers with more secure tenure observe sustainable agriculture practices. However, the low profitability of upland farming drove tenured smallholders to lease their land to the more profitable but potentially more environment-degrading commercial crop production. The paper argues that security of tenure may be a necessary but not a sufficient condition to achieve agricultural sustainability in the uplands. Furthermore, factors most likely to influence decisions to rent out land included age of farmers and availability of non-farm income.

UPLB Center for Strategic Planning and Policy Studies
Authors Keywords
Rola, Agnes C.; Dumayas, Elvira; Villavelez, Erica T.; Albano, Adrian L.; uplands; sustainable development; urban development;
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