Enhancing Smallholder Resilience: Organic Transition, Place-based Knowledge, and Local Resource Generation
Rice systems are of particular significance to building climate resilience in the Philippines. This research brief summarizes a case study that comparatively measures differences in climate resilience between organic and conventional rice systems in four neighboring villages in Negros Occidental Province, as well as explores features of smallholder rice systems that are significant to building resilience. Data were collected through surveys, interviews, focus groups, and participant observation. A participatory approach was applied to account for socioecological context and to identify targeted interventions for enhancing climate resilience based on local conditions and farmer experiences. The results indicate that (a) of the participating rice systems, organic systems exhibit greater resilience than their conventional counterparts; (b) the current institutional arrangement prevents smallholders from transitioning to organic; and (c) a polycentric food sovereignty development approach helps Philippine smallholders overcome these institutional barriers, as well as builds smallholder capacities for resilience by supporting place-based knowledge and resource generation. More effort is needed to explore, analyze, and strengthen such polycentric food sovereignty interventions for climate change.
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