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Citation Information

Type Journal Article - Journal of Developments in Sustainable Agriculture
Title Sustainable Agricultural Production Systems for Food Security in a Changing Climate in Batanes, Philippines
Volume 9
Issue 2
Publication (Day/Month/Year) 2014
Page numbers 111-119
URL https://www.jstage.jst.go.jp/article/jdsa/9/2/9_111/_pdf
Climate change could have significant impacts in the Philippines on large sections of the population who are poor and vulnerable, especially those who live in areas prone to coastal storms, drought and sea level rise. The sectors mostly affected by climate change are agriculture and food security because of the risk of low productivity due to increasing temperature, drought, and increasing frequency and intensity of rainfall that brings about floods and landslides. Located in the northernmost tip of the country, the Batanes group of islands lies on the country’s typhoon belt. Because of vulnerability and isolation from the rest of the archipelago, the Ivatans have developed self-sufficient, organic and climate-resilient crop production systems. This paper presents the indigenous crop production systems that have made the Ivatans food self-sufficient despite vulnerability of their agroecosystem. A typical Ivatan farmer owns 3-7 parcels of land. Each parcel has an average size of 300-500 m2. Farmers practice a rootcrop-based multiple cropping system with specific spatial arrangements of corn (Zea mays), gabi (Colocasia esculenta), yam (Dioscorea alata) and tugui (Dioscorea esculenta), using corn stover, hardwood trees or a local reed called viyawu (Miscanthus sp.) as trellis. Banana (Musa sp.) and assorted vegetables are planted around the parcels. One to two parcels are planted per season and the rest are left to fallow and used as grazing areas for cattle. The same crops are planted on the other parcels in the next season and the first two parcels utilized will again be planted only after 3-5 years. This unique fallow system maintains soil fertility without the use of chemical fertilizers. They also practice an indigenous storage system that involves hanging of their harvest such as corn, rice, garlic and onion bulbs, even meat and fish, above the firewood-fed cooking area. For generations, the Ivatan farmers’ indigenous agricultural production systems have ensured a food security at the household level.

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