Is De-agrarianization Inevitable? Subsistence, Food Security and Market Production in the Uplands of Negros Occidental, the Philippines
International Journal of Sociology of Agriculture and Food
Volume 19, issue 2 (2012), pages 214-228
Author: Stewart Lockiea, Rebeka Tennenta, Carmen Benaresb and David Carpenterc
Market liberalization and agrarian reform have done little to reverse poverty in the uplands of Negros Occidental. The mean income of households participating in this research (n=347) was only marginally above the rural poverty line and virtually all relied on seasonal work and remittances from family members living elsewhere for household (and in many cases farm) reproduction. Combined with demographic pressure and competition for land, rural households face considerable pressure to reduce their livelihood dependence on agriculture. At the same time, this research shows that reconfigurations of the agro-ecological relations, exchange relations and social relations on which agriculture is based (reconfigurations that speak to politics and processes of re-peasantization) have significant potential to improve the livelihoods and food security of small farmers. Self-provisioning of farm inputs, access to markets organized according to alternative conventions, and formal education were all shown to be associated in different ways with improvements both to household income and to household food self-provisioning.