Better life seen in Downstreaming Research

Created on Wednesday, 04 June 2014

cparArchived researches could never see the fulfillment of the researchers.

There are a hundred researches conducted by many individuals and organizations but many of it go to the bookshelves and gather dust. The birth of the Community-based Participatory Action Research (CPAR) in Central Visayas has been a blessing to the farmers who were manacled to the old practice of farming giving them low production and income for years.

Jennefer Baldapan, one of the more than 20 cooperators of the CPAR project in Buenos Aires and La Paz, Carmen , Bohol, from September 2009- August 2012 dared to make a difference by following the technology which suited best in her area. “Before, it was a hand-to-mouth existence, but with the technology I’m using now, I’m able to build a house, and send my kids to school, she said. Jennefer’s experience is not rare but a fact that happened to all cooperators who followed the technology offered by CPAR.

According to Antonio Du, Chief of the Central Visayas Integrated Agricultural Research Center (CENVIARC), the essence of CPAR is to downstream research to the farmers which consist of verification, demonstration and adaptation in the community. Each step involves a process which the farmers themselves had to experience.

La Paz and Buenos Aires, two barangays in Carmen, Bohol, which were identified as CPAR areas are largely corn-producing and though they have been farming for many years, their lives have not improved.

The importance of downstreaming research is important for farmers to feel that the Department of Agriculture exist or has been a help to them. With CPAR , Jennefer, together with other cooperators, finally found a shoulder to lean on and experience a different kind of farm production.

Jennefer Baldapan implemented crop integration with livestock, giving her income hike.

Transformed way of farming spells a metamorphosed life

The secret to a better life is not even complicated, one only needs to have a heart who is willing to follow what has been tested and recommended. Jennefer used to have mono crop system and this gave her marginal income , now that she’s into integrated farming, she sees the result.

It’s interesting how CPAR works. Some farmers are made to practice their conventional practice while others were made to follow the recommended technology. Harvest time is conversion time in CPAR, when the farmers saw the difference between the traditional farming to that of the recommended technology.

Jennefer is one of the traditional farmers who followed the monocrop pattern in farming before CPAR. But with CPAR , she learned to intercrop with peanuts and mungbean and raise livestock such as goats . Not only that , Jennefer learned to weigh advantages by harvesting green corn which commands bigger price in the market compared to corn production for grains.

Since Jennefer is integrating livestock, the farmers found out that goat manure can be a good source for nitrogen, thereby saving the environment from chemical inputs as well as saving on money. The farmers found out that the technology, will make them save a lot.

By raising livestock, such as goats and chickens, Jennefer, gets additional income from it, freeing her from dependence on just one crop.

The results of Jennefer’s practice need not a lot of talk but farmers began to practice what they saw in Jennefer’s farm-they simply realized the magic of following the recommended practice in their area.

The more than 20 farmers who joined the CPAR in Carmen , Bohol, were benefited of the results of the implementation of researches.

The Php1M invested by the Department of Agriculture (DA RFO7) and the Bureau of Agricultural Research (BAR), to the farmers in the two sites was not in vain, but it bore much fruit by uplifting the lives of farmers who thought they would remain marginal. The endeavor was coordinated by the staff of the Bohol Island State University (BISU) who worked hand-in-hand with the technicians of the municipality of Carmen and the Provincial Government of Bohol.

Remarkable results

Income hike is one of the best results Jennefer Baldapan experienced with CPAR. Let’s take a look of the big difference in income with monocrop and integrated farming. Jennefer earned Php 5,000 for producing only corn and earned Php 8,000 for planting only peanuts. In the first year of CPAR, a cropping pattern of corn plus peanut gave Jennefer an income of more than Php 13,000. She also enjoyed an additional income of Php 7,000 for mungbeans. Total harvest more than Php20,000.00.

Progress in income has been noticed in 2010, when Jennefer experimented on monocrop for green corn , which reached an income of Php 30,000. The next cropping season she tried on multi-crop planting with green corn and peanut which gave her an income of around Php 17,000 plus an additional income of Php 17,000 for mungbeans which totaled more than Php 60,000.

But what amazes Jennefer is that on the third year of CPAR she even enjoyed a much higher income which reached around Php70,000. Raising livestock gave the extra shot of her income . ”When I experienced the raise I felt empowered and accomplished, thanks to CPAR” Jennefer enthused . Other farmers join in the testimony of Jennefer.

The impressive results of the demonstration farm of CPAR was a realization of the cooperators to implement their knowledge to their own farms, making Jennefer not the sole recipient of economic progress but other cooperators who for a long time have battled against poverty.

Uncovering the riches in researches has made the future of farmers much brighter, indeed
CPAR has broken the culture of archiving researches, now its moving farmers up to an economic status they deserve for a long time.