Testimonies from Western Visayas Region

Residing in the Western Visayas region, Marilou Catunao from Dumangas, Iloilo is one of the farmer cooperators who adopted the recommended seedlings, fertilization, pest management, and other rice production technologies that were introduced under the Community-based Participatory Action Research (CPAR) project “Integrated rice - rice - vegetables + native chicken farming systems in Dingle, Iloilo” way back in 2012— which lowered their production costs, thus improved their profitability.

Along with other farmer cooperators, Catunao learned the importance of the Participatory Rural Appraisal (PRA) as an approach that enabled them to take the lead role in appraising their own conditions and identifying solutions that could improve their situations. Through CPAR, they were also given an opportunity to participate in different activities like farmers’ forum and field trips, among others to improve their skills and capabilities.

“Dahil sa CPAR, natuto kami ng rice technology na nababagay sa aming komunidad kaya masagana ang aming ani pero mababa ang gastos. Sa aking 3,000 square meter na lupa, nakapatanim ako ng pechay at nakagastos ng 10,000 pesos. Pero ang aking kita ay mahigit pa sa 30,000 pesos. Ang CPAR ay hindi lamanag nagbigay ng pondo at teknolohiya sa amin kundi nagbibigay rin ito ng mga oportunidad sa aming mga magsasaka,” she said.

CPAR is one of the DA-BAR's banner programs that aims to empower farming and fishing communities through information-based decision-making. Utilizing the community-based approach, CPAR is geared toward verifying the technical and economic feasibility of mature technologies in specific locations and at the farmers’ level prior to widespread adoption.