Incentive-based policy to promote adoption and investment of smallholders to vegetable-agroforestry (VAF) System [Philippines]

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Reporting Entity: Philippines

Clarify if the technology described in the template, or a part of it, is covered by property rights: No

Completeness: 91%

General Information

General Information

Title of best practice:

Incentive-based policy to promote adoption and investment of smallholders to vegetable-agroforestry (VAF) System



Reporting Entity:


Property Rights

Clarify if the technology described in the template, or a part of it, is covered by property rights:



Prevailing land use in the specified location

  • Cropland
  • Grazing land
  • Woodland
  • Uproductive land
  • Human settlement
  • Other (please specify)

Agri-business land – banana and pineapple plantations

Contribution to Desertification, land degradation and drought (DLDD) measures

  • Prevention
  • Mitigation
  • Adaptation
  • Rehabilitation

Contribution to the strategic objectives

  • To improve the living conditions of affected populations
  • To improve the conditions of affected ecosystems


Section 1. Context of the best practice: frame conditions (natural and human environment)

Short description of the best practice

The incentive-based policy program for Sustainable farming System (SFS) in Lantapan is the Local Government’s strategy to encourage farmers to adopt sustainable farming practices not only for private benefit but for the greater public good – under this program, such efforts are to be recognized, supported, rewarded and compensated. Incentive categories include input subsidies for crop production and NRM-based livelihood, extension support, subsidized crop insurance, micro-financing, infrastructure, awards and recognition, and marketing support. It does not only provide incentive support to adopt and invest on sustainable land use to improve farmers’ livelihoods, but also maintain environmental services (ES) and contribute climate change adaptation and mitigation.  |


Lantapan, Bukidnon, Philippines|

If the location has well defined boundaries, specify its extension in hectares:


Estimated population living in the location:


Brief description of the natural environment within the specified location.

Lantapan has relatively cool and humid with winds blowing northward direction. The hottest time of the year usually takes place during the months of November to April, while the coldest from May to October. Mountains of neighboring towns in the north protect Lantapan from cyclone storms. |
Soil types are classified as Adtuyon and Kidapawan clays, which are mostly well drained.
Lantapan has an average elevation of 600 m, which increases as one proceeds northwest to Mt. Kitanglad Range National Park (MKRNP) to a maximum of 2,938 m. About 70% of the area has slopes greater than 10%.|

Prevailing socio-economic conditions of those living in the location and/or nearby

Majority of the farming communities are living below the average poverty line.
Lantapan has an agricultural-based economy. Up to the early 90s, 90% of the households have been dependent on smallholder farming. However, this changed since two large corporations started banana production in the late 90s. It is estimated that about 60% of the total labor force of Lantapan are now employed in commercial agricultural enterprises. |
Of the total area of 35,465 hectares, 21, 215 hectares are classified as alienable and disposable lands (A&D), while 14, 250 hectares are public lands (forests). A&D are privately-held lands, while public lands have been delineated as forest areas for protection (MKRNP) and production areas (buffer zone). Existing forest use rights include Integrated Social Forestry (ISF) and Community-Based Forest Management (CBFM) certificates. There is also a Certificate of Ancestral Domain Claim(CADC)issued.|

On the basis of which criteria and/or indicator(s) (not related to The Strategy) the proposed practice and corresponding technology has been considered as 'best'?

The program, rather than ‘dole out’ system, is a viable approach to agricultural development because it encourages cooperation and investments in sustainable agriculture by smallholders. As such, it builds social capital among farmers, as well as the institutional capacity of the local government to broker between local communities and external potential ES buyers.  |

Section 2. Problems addressed (direct and indirect causes) and objectives of the best practice

Main problems addressed by the best practice

1. Dole-out system of providing projects to local communities, with no clear condition between them and the local government. This often results to minimum impacts in the absence of conditions and requirements. |2. Poor monitoring of farmers’ land use systems, whose practices and land use decisions affect the condition of our resource. With the program, the provision of incentives is targeted to farmers who have done positive to protect the natural resources and sustain environmental services (ES.|3. Poor agricultural extension system. The policy improves the system because extentionists are required to communicate with the farming communities to ensure ‘appropriate’ incentives are given to ‘real’ adopters. As such, incentives provided are site-specific and beneficiary-targeted, hence provides more chances of success.  

Outline specific land degradation problems addressed by the best practice

1. Degradation of land resources, where the livelihood of farming communities depends.
2. The presence of multi-national companies has enriched the rural cash economy, but their unintended effects have pushed smallholders in less productive and fragile areas

Specify the objectives of the best practice

Lantapan Ordinance No. 114 aims to provide funds for the implementation of the Sustainable Farming System (SFS) Incentive-Based Program in the municipality, which in turn gives incentives to deserving farmers and farmer organizations for adopting or having adopted sustainable farming practices, resulting in increased productivity, profitability, and sustained environmental services. |Capacitate the Municipal Agriculture Office to implement the SFS incentive-based policy.

Section 3. Activities

Brief description of main activities, by objective

1. Provide continuous training program to Agricultural Technologists (ATs).
1. Mobilize local resources to provide incentives, and link with external agencies that can potentially provide additional resources or assistance.  |2. Disseminate the program to all farming communities, and all other stakeholders to gain support. |3. Maintain an updated database of farmers adopting specific technologies or farmer organizations implementing agriculture/environment-related activities at the community level.|4. Provide incentives to deserving farmers and farmer organizations for adopting or investing on SFS.

Short description and technical specifications of the technology

The provision of any type of support available through the Local Government’s regular and special programs are provided in form of ‘incentive’ to farmers and farmer organizations that meet the conditions required, resulting in increased adoption of SFS and adaptation to climate change.
The following technologies are examples of SFS practices already adopted by farmers in Lantapan. These are considered fundable SFS practices (but not limited to these) under this policy:
1. Organic Farming Technology - Vermi-Composting, Bio-N, Nature Farming Technology Systems;
2. Integrated Crop Management (ICM)- Bio-fumigation, Integrated Pest Management, Soil Testing using STK;
3. Agro-forestry - Vegetables-agroforestry (VAF) Production System, Multi-story, cropping, agro-silvopastoral, apiculture;
4. Diversified Farming - Multi-cropping, inter-cropping;
5. Sloping Agricultural Land Technology (SALT) - contour plowing, contour hedge rows, any contour barriers, SALT I, II, III and IV (including livestock);
6. Soil and Water Conservation (SWMC)- Mulching, Cover cropping, Minimum Tillage, Drip Irrigation;
7. Farm Waste Management - Recycling, Composting, Segregation (Liquid and Solid)
8. Farm Forestry - Diversification of tree species (exotic, indigenous and fruits)
9  Clean Energy - Briquette Production (using rice hull, charcoal, farm waste)
10. Indigenous Knowledge System - Indigenous vegetables and medicinal plants, indigenous pest management
11. Community-wide clean and green project - Riparian Management, Water Quality Monitoring, Community Tree Parks

Section 4. Institutions/actors involved (collaboration, participation, role of stakeholders)

Name and address of the institution developing the technology

World Agroforestry Centre (ICRAF-Philippines)|MOSCAT Compound

Was the technology developed in partnership?


List the partners:

1. Local Government of Lantapan

Specify the framework within which the technology was promoted

  • Local initiative
  • Programme/project-based initiative

Was the participation of local stakeholders, including CSOs, fostered in the development of the technology?


List local stakeholders involved:

1. Local Government of Lantapan – municipal and village-level policy-makers, ATs, department heads|2. SSFWM in Lantapan

For the stakeholders listed above, specify their role in the design, introduction, use and maintenance of the technology, if any.

1. Local Government of Lantapan – designed the policy framework to implement the SFS incentive-policy. They are currently implementing the program to enhance adoption and investment of SFS technologies at the farm-level.
2. SSFWM – provided the policy environment of VAF at the local level and enumerated the kinds of incentives that can encourage them to adopt and invest on SFS

Was the population living in the location and/or nearby involved in the development of the technology?


By means of what?
  • Consultation
  • Participatory approaches
  • Other (please specify)

Identification of incentives that will be given to them as rewards for adopting or investing on SFS


Section 5. Contribution to impact

Describe on-site impacts (the major two impacts by category)

Environmental protection and sustained provision of ES resulted to improved soil fertility, increased tree cover, and improved agrodiversity and biodiversity.|
Formation of new farmer groups and strengthening of existing farmer organizations (e.g. Landcare, ATSAL, PAGLAMBU, Tigbantay Wahig, etc.) that resulted to greater responsiveness (receptiveness) to various VAF-related programs and projects and wider scope of SFS Incentive-based Program|
Diversification into high-value crops and adoption of various agroforestry systems, and other sustainable technologies are facilitated.|
Ensured water supply and quality and improved micro-climate which contribute to climate change adaptation of the agriculture and forestry sectors.
It is also resulted to improved monitoring and evaluation of LGU’s agricultural programs and agricultural service delivery that is more responsive to farmers’ needs.
Improved agricultural production thru increased yields and greater cropping productivity.
More efficient and effective distribution of assistance and more more encouragement for other non-practicing farmers to adopt SFS that could possibly lead to the improvement of farmers’ lives and livelihoods, as well as the landscapes.|
The institutional changes within the LGU also provides important benefits in terms of more sustainable VAF-related projects on ground reaching the majority of the poor in the uplands.

Describe the major two off-site (i.e. not occurring in the location but in the surrounding areas) impacts

With more farmers adopting and investing on SFS, provision of ES is sustained for other off-site beneficiaries. For example, water coming from the Manupali watershed is sustained for the multi-national companies, irrigation systems, and hydro-power companies downstream. |
Through reforestation and agrofroestry activities the program contribute to development of GHG sinks. Lantapan serves as effective corridor to MKRNP, which is the habitat of diverse flora and fauna (biodiversity). Increasing number of mountaineers and bird watchers come to the park to enjoy its rich biodiversity and natural beauty.   |

Impact on biodiversity and climate change

Explain the reasons:

The program is encouraging farmers to adopt technologies to make their farm productive. As such, pressure to the forest is minimized, as their alternative source of livelihoods. Furthermore, VAF improves crop diversification that in turn enhances agro-diversity.
The program covers farmers (e.g. Kitanglad Guard Volunteers) who are supporting DENR and the local government’s efforts on reforesting degraded forests and grasslands which help maintain the area's recognized carbon sink.
The program promotes the adoption and investment among smallholders on Sustainable Farming System (SFS) which essential to increase their adaptive capacity to climate change.  

Has a cost-benefit analysis been carried out?

Has a cost-benefit analysis been carried out?


Section 6. Adoption and replicability

Was the technology disseminated/introduced to other locations?

Was the technology disseminated/introduced to other locations?



Seminar at Harvard University in USA (2009)|SANREM-TMPEGS counterpart in Vietnam (2008), |SANREM Annual Global Meeting (2008) in UPLB|4th National Agroforestry Congress (2009) in Cagayan de Oro City|Other fora and meetings.

Were incentives to facilitate the take up of the technology provided?

Were incentives to facilitate the take up of the technology provided?


Specify which type of incentives:
  • Policy or regulatory incentives (for example, related to market requirements and regulations, import/export, foreign investment, research & development support, etc)
  • Financial incentives (for example, preferential rates, State aid, subsidies, cash grants, loan guarantees, etc)

Can you identify the three main conditions that led to the success of the presented best practice/technology?

Receptive local government. They are willing to try new approaches to achieve their goals
Realistic. The farming communities and the local government recognize the importance of protecting their resources because they both have stakes to these, as well as other environmental services (ES) beneficiaries downstream. |
Condition. The program requires co-investment from the farming communities and the local government – the farmers adopt Sustainable Farming System (SFS) while the local government provides incentives equitable to their investments.


In your opinion, the best practice/technology you have proposed can be replicated, although with some level of adaptation, elsewhere?


At which level?
  • Local
  • Sub-national
  • National
  • Subregional
  • Regional
  • International

Section 7. Lessons learned

Related to human resources

1. Building social capital at different level is a key element to successfully implement the program.|2. Trust is very important between farming communities and the local government.

Related to financial aspects

1. Partnership is very important in resource mobilization.

Related to technical aspects

1. Promote simple, low-cost and culturally-sensitive technologies.|

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