A Localized Case Study of Rural Food Production in the Republic of the Philippines

Christy Ottinger


A survey of farmers and fisherfolk was conducted in the Municipality of Gonzaga, Cagayan Province, Republic of the Philippines during the summer of 2009 as part of a collaboration between the Local Government Unit's Municipal Planning and Development Office, Cagayan State University's Gonzaga Campus and The College of William and Mary in Virginia, USA. By investigating variables affecting the differing environmental priorities of fisherfolk and farmers as well as the constraints of environmentally and socially sustainable rice farming and fishing, policy recommendations and development needs can be determined per barangay as Gonzaga agricultural practices become increasingly industrialized. Least squares regression models determined income and education as significant variables in determining valuation of environmental stewardship. Fisherfolk were found to use more environmentally sustainable methods than were farmers, which revealed that the "tragedy of the commons" is not a factor in the sustainability of local fishing. Direct applications of this research include policy suggestions, alternative livelihood recommendations, and cost-efficiency arguments for environmentally sustainable practices, such as the conversion to organic agriculture and the creation of more Marine Protected Areas in the municipality.

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