Revitalizing legumes and root crops in lahar affected areas of Zambales, Philippines: A comprehensive socio-economic, production and marketing study

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Research Paper 14/06/2023
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Revitalizing legumes and root crops in lahar affected areas of Zambales, Philippines: A comprehensive socio-economic, production and marketing study

Abstract

The study aimed to revitalize legumes and root crops farming in the lahar-affected areas of Zambales, Philippines. The study conducted a comprehensive assessment of legumes and root crops farming in the lahar-affected areas of Zambales, Philippines, with a focus on peanut, cassava, mungbean, and legumes production. Data was collected from 186 farmers in selected towns, revealing that a majority of respondents were male, married, and aged 51 and above. Notably, formal education was not a strict requirement for engaging in root crop farming, and most farmers had small to medium-sized families and owned farms ranging from 0.6 to 1 hectare. Farming experience varied, with the highest representation among those aged 26 and above. Fertilizer usage ranged, but the majority of farmers used 4 to 5 bags. Weather conditions and pest/insect problems emerged as the main challenges in root crop farming. Regarding marketing, wholesale selling was the predominant approach, with traders being the main source of market and price information. Farmers primarily relied on personal capital to fund their crops. Marketing problems included low prices, delayed payments, oversupply, unstable prices, limited buyers, and price fluctuations. Statistical analysis highlighted positive correlations between socio-economic factors (age, education, family size, farm size, and farming experience) and increased production of cassava and sweet potato. To revitalize legumes and root crops farming in the lahar-affected areas of Zambales, several recommendations were proposed. Targeted training programs focusing on climate-resilient agricultural practices and pest management should be developed. Efforts to improve market access and reduce dependence on traders through collective marketing initiatives and value-added processing are essential. Investment in agricultural infrastructure, such as irrigation systems, is crucial to mitigate weather-related challenges. Policymakers should explore opportunities for providing financial support and credit facilities to farmers to boost productivity. Lastly, fostering collaboration among government agencies, research institutions, and farmer organizations will aid in formulating sustainable region-specific strategies. These findings and recommendations offer valuable insights for developing relevant policies and programs to support the agricultural sector in the lahar-affected regions of Zambales.

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