Roles of site facilitators in improving farm income by vegetable growing in South Cotabato and Maguindanao, Philippines using the Livelihood Improvement through Facilitated Extension (LIFE) model
Mindanao is considered as the food basket of the Philippines. However, it is home to the poorest provinces in the country. In 2018, the University of the Philippines Mindanao scaled out the Livelihood Improvement through Facilitated Extension (LIFE) Model. This is a agricultural entrepreneurship extension strategy program, undertaken in two conflict-vulnerable areas, namely Lambukon, Canahay, Surallah in South Cotabato and Bisang, Talisawa, Datu Abdullah Sangki in Maguindanao. Each site is assigned two local facilitators as extension agents. Monthly reports, responses to a questionnaire, and a focus group discussion were assessed. This is to relate facilitator roles and tasks to the improvement of two farmer groups livelihoods. A farmer group at each site, identified vegetable growing as their priority livelihood. Group members attended Farmer Field Schools, worked in their communal demonstration area and on individual farms. They also visited markets and successful farms to learn farming technologies. The program and partner agencies provided some of the farm inputs. Facilitators visited farmers often, teaching farming technologies. Approximately 45% of the facilitators time was interacting with the farmers to develop social capital. Linkages with at least six local partners at each site strengthened institutional support for the farmer groups. Farmers earned additional income, approximately 44 to 64% from the sale of vegetables. The two groups were registered with the Department of Labour and Employment. This allowed them to access government services. Household food security was addressed with vegetables harvested from their farms. Drought and typhoons disrupted their vegetable growing but the farmers replanted. Likewise, the program re-established connections with the new ministers of ministries under the Bangsamoro Autonomous region in Muslim Mindanao, and was proactive in procurement matters.
Sigue, K.S., Bayogan, E.V., Lozada, H.P., Fuentes, A.Y., Orbeta, M.O. and Ignacio, J.D. (2021). Roles of site facilitators in improving farm income by vegetable growing in South Cotabato and Maguindanao, Philippines using the Livelihood Improvement through Facilitated Extension (LIFE) model. Acta Hortic. 1312, 531-538
Livelihood Improvement through Facilitated Extension, Mindanao, agricultural extension, vegetables