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Citation Information

Type Journal Article - Philippine Journal of Development
Title Does nonfarm job growth encourage or retard soil conservation in Philippine uplands?
Volume 29
Issue 1
Publication (Day/Month/Year) 2002
Page numbers 55-83
URL http://www.aae.wisc.edu/coxhead/papers/Rola-Coxhead.pdf
Intensive agriculture in the uplands of tropical countries is observed to cause environmental
damage. In the long run, this might jeopardize the resource base and ultimately the capacity of
upland households to maintain self-sufficiency in food supplies. There are, in general, two ways
to influence farmers' use of natural resources: direct interventions aimed at altering behavior, and
indirect interventions (such as through prices) aimed at altering factors that influence farm
decisions. In the Philippines, the most common mitigating measure for seemingly unsustainable
upland agricultural practices is the direct approach, especially the introduction of soil-conserving
methods through extension and farmer education. For example, Sloping Agricultural Land
Technology (SALT), a package of soil management measures for sloping lands, was introduced
by the Philippine Department of Agriculture (DA) in the early 1980s to combat soil erosion and
land degradation in uplands and has been widely promoted in upland development projects.
However, while there is some adoption of conservation measures such as hedgerows in highintensity
extension projects, there is little evidence of more widespread farmer interest in SALT,
or of spontaneous adoption (Garrity et al., 1993). Though no systematic evaluation is available,
the general impression is one of low and slow adoption rates primarily because farmers do not
perceive such very labor-intensive technologies to be economically profitable (Regmi, 1997).
Tenure insecurity is also cited as a constraining factor, as with any investment in fixed capital

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