are in the MOST Phase I website (1994-2003).
The MOST Phase II website is available at: www.unesco.org/shs/most.
|Best Practices on Indigenous Knowledge||MOST/CIRAN|
Overcoming labour shortages through indigenous mutual-help groupsDESCRIPTION
To improve soil erosion and poor soil fertility, the International Institute of Rural Reconstruction (IIRR) introduced agroforestry measures. But because the measures were labour-intensive, they were being adopted only slowly. After a visit to a similar project, the farmers themselves suggested forming traditional mutual-help groups for the agroforestry work. These groups are called hunglunan in Albay province, alayon in Cebu, and tropa in Cavite. They usually consist of four to six members, but sometimes up to 10 or more members, who help one another with labour-intensive agricultural activities such as land preparation, planting, weeding, and harvesting. Members also help one another for fiestas, weddings and other social events. Naturally, information is often shared by the group members.
The local labour groups formed for the project were crucial in implementing the agroforestry measures. The use of local approaches and the fact that the groups were formed by the farmers themselves were important factors. Experience in many development projects has shown that groups introduced by outsiders seldom survive for long.
The approach’s sustainability depends very much on the project for which it is used. For example, if people do not find the agroforestry measures useful, they will leave the mutual-help groups. Another factor probably influencing sustainability is whether the groups formed themselves according to their own criteria or whether the groups were imposed by outsiders.
STAKEHOLDERS AND BENEFICIARIES
Farmers have been the initiators, actors, stakeholders and users of the practice.
STRENGTHS & WEAKNESSES
The practice might exclude households headed by women, but no data were available to confirm this.
IT IS CONSIDERED SUCCESFUL BECAUSE:
The practice worked well to disseminate information and achieve the adoption of new agroforestry techniques.
SUCCESS EXPRESSED IN QUALITATIVE OR QUANTITATIVE TERMS:
Within eight years, 210 famers in 40 hungluan groups in 10 villages had adopted the new agroforestry practices.
POTENTIAL FOR REPLICATION
There are two prerequisites for replicating the practice:
Local mutual-help groups cannot make up for flaws in the larger project.
Source of this information:
International Institute of Rural Reconstruction (IIRR)
To MOST Clearing House Best Practices on Poverty and Social Exclusion
To MOST/CIRAN Database of Best Practices on Indigenous Knowledge
To MOST Clearing House Homepage