Enhancing Smallholder Resilience: Organic Transition, Place-based Knowledge, and Local Resource Generation





Agroecology, Food Sovereignty, Institutions, MASIPAG, Organic, Philippines, Polycentrism, Resilience, Rice, SHARP, Smallholders


Rice systems are of particular significance to build­ing climate resilience in the Philippines. This research brief summarizes a case study that com­paratively measures differences in climate resilience between organic and conventional rice systems in four neighboring villages in Negros Occidental Province, as well as explores features of smallhold­er rice sys­tems that are significant to building resili­ence. Data were collected through surveys, inter­views, focus groups, and participant observation. A participa­tory approach was applied to account for socio­ecological context and to identify targeted inter­ventions for enhancing climate resilience based on local conditions and farmer experiences. The results indicate that (a) of the participating rice systems, organic systems exhibit greater resilience than their conventional counterparts; (b) the cur­rent institutional arrangement prevents smallhold­ers from transitioning to organic; and (c) a poly­centric food sovereignty development approach helps Philippine smallholders overcome these institutional barriers, as well as builds small­holder capacities for resilience by supporting place-based knowledge and resource generation. More effort is needed to explore, analyze, and strengthen such polycentric food sovereignty interventions for climate change.

See the press release for this article. 


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Author Biography

Amber A. Heckelman, University of British Columbia

Centre for Sustainable Food Systems

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How to Cite

Heckelman, A. A. (2019). Enhancing Smallholder Resilience: Organic Transition, Place-based Knowledge, and Local Resource Generation. Journal of Agriculture, Food Systems, and Community Development, 9(A), 141–149. https://doi.org/10.5304/jafscd.2019.091.037