Do non-farm jobs affect soil conservation decisions? A ten-year (1996-2006) study in Bukidnon, Philippines
A.C. Rola; J.P.A. De Mesa; I.B. Bagares
Type of Document:
University of the Philippines- Los Banos
Date of Publication:
Place of Publication:
Using time series data of an upland community in the Philippines, this paper aims to understand whether soil conservation practices by upland farmers is affected by opportunities for non-farm jobs. The paper first analyzes the national trends in economic growth and the structural change in employment by industry origin as a result of wage trends in both farm and non farm jobs. Municipal trends in the study site on agricultural and non agricultural wages, farm and non farm employment are also presented. The factors that affect the propensity to participate in non farm jobs are identified through a logit model. A logit model is also estimated to establish relationship between the propensity to practice soil conservation and the participation in non farm employment.
The Philippine economic trends showed a decline in agriculture value added, a stable industry sector, and an increasing share of the service sector from 1970 to 2006. Agricultural employment share in total employment has consistently declined in the same period; while agricultural wage rates were also lower than the non agriculture wages. At the town level, data showed more employment in the non farm sector; with higher wages in that sector. Age and tenure status were significant factors in the participation in non farm jobs during the drought years; age, education and dependency ratio were significant for the subsequent years.
Upland farmers usually do soil conservation measures, especially for those cultivating the steep slopes. The participation in non farm jobs has lowered this propensity to do soil conservation during the drought years; but during the normal years (2000-2006), the non farm work was not a determinant of soil conservation practices. Descriptive data also showed that despite intensification especially of vegetable production, vegetable farmers were practicing soil conservation measures. This finding is encouraging, that even as agriculture intensifies, environmental measures are being taken up by farmers, which could be a result of the high knowledge about sustainable agriculture.