The Community-Based Participatory Action Research program is one of the flagship programs of the Bureau of Agricultural Research that is geared at generating significant information by verifying the technical and economic feasibility of mature technologies prior to widespread adoption. It is a location-specific research cum extension activity that deals with improved farming systems technologies for specific micro agro-climatic environments within the province/municipality.
The program uses the community-based participatory approach, which differs from the conventional way most research institutions do for technology adaptation and verification. With this approach, the Bureau enjoys the active participation of the community to sensitize them to the value of information-based decision-making. Through this, the community is empowered by organizing their production management systems. The participatory nature of CPAR is intended to implement a holistic approach to the overall management of the production system. This includes: integrated farming systems development, resource management orientation, community-based, whole farm and whole family systems approach, focusing on complementation and integration. These processes are instituted through a farm model framework focused on participatory community-based resource management systems. The CPAR program, for its part, is managed by BAR and implemented by the DA’s Regional Integrated Agricultural Research Centers (RIARCs) and Regional Integrated Fisheries Research and Development Centers (RFRDCs) as well as the Local Government Units LGUs.
In the years of its implementation, CPAR has generated great impact on the agricultural sector. It has provided relevant on-farm information in verifying developed agricultural technologies and has helped immensely in hastening the process of technology transfer which improved productivity in the covered areas. In view of this, more farmers and farming communities came to appreciate the technologies and interventions introduced in the CPAR projects as shown by the increasing number of farmer cooperators and adoptors.
As of June 30 2012, BAR has coordinated a total of 227 CPAR projects covering 545 barangay sites nationwide, involving a total of 10,683 farmer-beneficiaries of which 5,766 are farmer-cooperators who are direct recipients of the CPAR grant funds from BAR and 4,917 other adoptors who invested on their own following the gains and successes of the farmer-cooperators.