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SEARCA MONO 2013 1: Characteristics of Farm Holdings: Evidence from the Philippines' Census of Agriculture

The Philippine Census of Agriculture (CA), which reflects the performance of the agricultural sector through the years, presents data essential in effective implementation of strategic policies and resolutions to improve agriculture in the country. The National Statistics Office (NSO) is responsible for gathering data for the CA, which began in 1960 and has since been conducted every decade. A complete count of all farm operators in the Philippines, the CA collects data on the basic structural characteristics of each farm (e.g., size and location, tenure status, main use of land, crops planted, livestock or poultry raised, agricultural practices, type of irrigation used, farm equipment or machineries used, and demographic characteristics of the agricultural operators and their household members). This study analyzed the results of the 2002 CA and compared it to the findings of the 1991 Census of Agriculture and Fisheries (CAF) to determine if the agricultural sector improved because of policy change, technological improvement, or a shift in demands or other factors. To meet the study objectives, the following variables were explored: farms and farm sizes, cropping pattern vis--vis irrigation system, shift in major crops and geographical variation in cropping density, shift in land use, and tenure of holdings. Their differences across time and/or space were also assessed. The CA collected information from sample barangays to represent each city or municipality, except for some provinces that were completely enumerated. In the 2002 CA, the provinces of Batanes, Isabela, Laguna, and Bukidnon were completely enumerated. Meanwhile, in the 1991 CAF, these provinces and the province of Marinduque were completely enumerated. For this study, a region was picked from the three broad island groups. The region within the island group was selected based on the enumerated number of farms and the variety of planted crops reported. The region with the highest number of farms and the most varied crops planted within the island group was analyzed. Region II, Region VI, and Region X were selected for Luzon, Visayas, and Mindanao, respectively. The study showed that from 1991 to 2002, the number of farms had increased while farm area and average farm size had decreased. This did not apply to Region II, which experienced an increase in farm area. However, a generally decreasing trend of the computed Gini coefficients for both regions and provinces signaled a improvement in farm distribution. This indicates a more equal distribution of farms in 2002 than in 1991.

Southeast Asian Regional Center for Graduate Study and Research in Agriculture
Authors Keywords
Collado, Paula Monina G.; Tia, Mercedita E.; Del Prado, Divina Gracia L.; Taguibolos, Gerardo B.; Lipio, Guillermo M. Jr.; agriculture; crops; farm holdings; irrigation systems;
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