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Organically-Grown Rice-Based Farming and Marketing Project: Assessing the Project Design and Irrigator Associations Needs in Oriental Mindoro, The Philippines

Journal of Rural and Industrial Development

Volume 6 Issue 1

Published: 2018
Author(s) Name: Myra E. David, Ruth A. Ortega-Dela Cruz, Ephraim C. Quiñones | Author(s) Affiliation: Instt. for Gover. and Rural Develp., College of Public Affairs and Develp., Univ. of Philippines
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Abstract

The Philippines’s Department of Agrarian Reform seeks to determine the feasibility of the organically-grown rice-based farming and marketing project when implemented in Oriental Mindoro, The Philippines. Using the qualitative study approach, two irrigator’s associations (IA) were assessed by holding key informant interviews and focus group discussions (FGDs) with IA officers and non-IA members or a community. IAs’ needs were assessed by their: (a) organizational capacities, i.e., vision, mission, goal, structure, members’ participation, fiscal resources, community network, and registration and (b) enterprise capacities, responsiveness of proposed common service facility to needs, and nature of professional services to be provided. Suitability of design was assessed by the: (a) quality and relevance of objectives and design; (b) potential sustainability and expansion; and (c) viability in terms of community participation, gender equality, and environmental sustainability. Results of SWOT analyses indicate common findings among the associations and their community. Both have initial experience with small-scale organic farming and are in close proximity to potential high-end markets. However, characteristics distinct to each of the IAs are found. One IA has a perennial problem with its main water canal whereas the other has no other income stream aside from its limited membership fees. Given the results, the following recommendations were drawn: build the organizational capacity of the Agrarian Reform Beneficiaries Organizations (ARBOs) through continuous leadership and governance trainings; assist them in adding a business development component/committee to their organizational structures; and provide them with brand new quality farm equipment that suits the local situation.

Keywords: Irrigators Association, Marketing, Needs and Design Assessment, Oriental Mindoro, Organic, Rice-based Farming, The Philippines

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