In SANREM Policy Brief 1, Catacutan and Piñon, ‘recommended that local government units be more proactive in developing incentive policies that complement or offset the weakness of national policies in delivering wider benefits to small farmers. Local government units have a better understanding of local contexts, hence policy interventions can be more realistic, and the policy performance can be closely monitored by local leaders.’ Last May 11, 2009, Mayor Godofredo Balansag signed the first‘Incentive-Support System for Farmers Adopting or Investing in Sustainable Farming Systems, in Lantapan, Bukidnon, Mindanao, Philippines.’
This ordinance is an impact of 15 years of SANREM research in the Philippines. As far as we know, this is the first incentive based ordinance for conservation agriculture production system (CAPS) in the Philippines. There are several sections in the ordinance, Section 8 is a declaration of principles of Sustainable Agriculture/Farming or Conservation Agriculture Production Systems:
- Ecologically sound – Sustains and promotes a healthy ecosystem
- Economically viable and productive – provides immediate and long-term economic benefits
- Self-reliant – Optimizes the use of locally available resources
- Culturally compatible – Respects cultural traditions
- Socially just and humane – Results to equitable distribution of farm produce and eliminates oppressive practices.
If funded for SANREM phase IV, TMPEGS will facilitate implementation of the Lantapan CAPS ordinance and scale out the Lantapan ordinance to other sites, monitoring its strengths, weaknesses; and its impact in CAPS adoption.