Sustainable smallholder farming clusters in the Philippines
The context for this paper is the problem of smallholder farmers in the Philippines characterised as being cash poor, disconnected and often distant from their markets, poorly educated, in adversarial relationships with their buyers, lacking production scale, and relying on family labour using traditional farming systems. In the Philippines, local Non-Government Organisations (NGO) and other aid agencies are increasingly interested in developing smallholder agricultural clusters; which are geographic concentrations of interconnected smallholder farmers who collaborate in production and or marketing of the same produce in the same supply chains. These clusters benefit smallholders by sharing risk, encouraging innovation, reducing costs and increasing production to increase profits. However, the management and decision making of smallholder farming clusters is complex, and many of these clusters have failed. The success or failure of clusters can be related to how the cluster farming members respond, adapt and draw on their resources and supporting network to become a competitive supplier in their unique and dynamic environments. Based on a survey of a range of clusters at different stages of development, this paper will explore the adaptive capacity of smallholder farming clusters in the Philippines and how this relates to the cluster becoming a sustainable and competitive supplier. This paper examines the cluster member's adaptive capacity based on indicators of human, social, natural, physical and financial capital.
Oakeshott, J. (2016). Sustainable smallholder farming clusters in the Philippines. Acta Hortic. 1128, 339-346
development, rural, value chain, PLS-SEM