Traditional knowledge and natural resources management for agricultural production in the marginal uplands: the case of Brgy. Caticugan, Sta. Rita, Samar


Author(s): Jedess Miladel N. Salomon1*, Annabella B. Tulin2, Marciana B. Galambao3 and Michelle E. Gumba4

Abstract

This study documented how people in an agricultural community cope with water scarcity. Through focus group discussions, household interviews, and observation, it attempts to understand how they make use of the available resources and traditional knowledge to make a livelihood. Thirty informants were involved in the study: six of which were tenants and twenty-four were landowners. Their agricultural practices were based on traditional beliefs and years of observation and experience on when to plant and how to ensure a bountiful harvest in conjunction with soil fertility and pest management. Preferred crops were those that were drought and pest resistant. Water scarcity was minimized through the use of balon, cemented deep well, water pumps, rainwater harvesting during the rainy season, and a reservoir. However, these could not supply enough for human consumption and agricultural production, especially during the dry season. Because ofthis, informants expressed the need for an irrigation system. This study illustrates the importance of traditional or local knowledge to agriculture and natural resource management by providing households with adaptive strategies. It is therefore important that this knowledge system be incorporated in the development and implementation of programs to improve the agricultural and economic productivity of farm households and the management of natural resources in the marginal uplands.

Keywords: agriculture, livelihoods, water scarcity