Livelihood diversification with certification-supported farming: The case of land reform beneficiaries in the Philippines
By Rie Makita
The promotion of intensive farming through organic and fair trade certification appears contradictory to the increasing significance of non-farm income sources in rural Asia as well as in many other parts of the rural South. By observing a sugarcane producer co-operative comprising land reform beneficiaries in the Philippines, this paper explores the reality of livelihood diversification as practised by member households of the certified co-operative, focusing on the compatibility of certification-supported farming with diversified activities. In this case, diversification at the household level progressed both away from farming and into farming. Behind the long-term use of agricultural certification, there are compelling reasons for continuing both certification-supported farming and diversified activities, and for employing mechanisms that further the compatibility at all phases between the former and the latter, and maximising income-generating opportunities. The operation of communal land with agricultural certification may be an effective form of assistance to land reform beneficiaries who share a strong desire to be landowners.