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Topic: Rural Development

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Banana Balangon Project: An Innovation towards Sustainable Development of T'boli and Ubo Farmers in Lake Sebu, South Cotabato, Philippines

Banana Balangon Project: An innovation Towards Sustainable Development of T’boli and Ubo Farmers in Lake Sebu, South Cotabato Philippines, is a study that mainly aimed to explore the positive and significant changes in the lives of indigenous people in Lake Sebu, South Cotabato, Philippines as a result of their participation in the innovation-market for organic banana. In addition, the sustainability of the project was also determined in the study. A descriptive exploratory method was employed as a research design that utilized qualitative data measures such as individual and focus group participatory economic valuation, participatory action research, semi-structured interviews, basic necessities survey and SD analyzer. Sixty four (64) T’boli and Ubo farmers were the respondents of the study. In summary, there has been a shift on the respondents’ traditional way of life from traditional hunting and gathering, and slash and burn agriculture, to having a more stable and sustainable source of income through the project.

The study hoped to contribute to the existing literature and studies of organic agriculture and banana production in the Philippines. Secondly, it desired to enrich the available data that would be helpful to the national government and local government units as well as for the farmers of the Banana Balangon Project. Lastly, the study is intended to be useful for the policy makers as to how socio-economic and cultural issues regarding organic agriculture can be addressed.


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Healthy soils are the basis for healthy food production

The most widely recognized function of soil is its support for food production. It is the foundation for agriculture and the medium in which nearly all food-producing plants grow. In fact, it is estimated that 95% of our food is directly or indirectly produced on our soils. Healthy soils supply the essential nutrients, water, oxygen and root support that our food-producing plants need to grow and flourish. Soils also serve as a buffer to protect delicate plant roots from drastic fluctuations in temperature.

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State of the World's Forests 2014

Enhancing the socioeconomic benefits from forests

Across the world, forests, trees on farms, and agroforestry systems play a crucial role in the livelihoods of rural people by providing employment, energy, nutritious foods and a wide range of other goods and ecosystem services. They have tremendous potential to contribute to sustainable development and to a greener economy. Yet, clear evidence of this has been lacking. This evidence is critical to inform policies on forest management and use, and to ensure that the benefi ts from forests are recognized in the post-2015 development agenda, not only with respect to the environment, but also for their contributions to broader social issues.

This edition of State of the World’s Forests addresses this knowledge gap by systematically gathering and analysing available data on forests’ contributions to people’s livelihoods, food, health, shelter and energy needs. Crucially, the report also suggests how information might be improved and policies adjusted, so that the socioeconomic benefits from forests can be enhanced in the future.

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The State of Food Insecurity in the World 2014

SOFI 2014 presents updated estimates of undernourishment and progress towards the Millennium Development Goal (MDG) and World Food Summit (WFS) hunger targets.

The 2014 report also presents further insights into the suite of food security indicators introduced in 2013 and analyses in greater depth the dimensions of food security – availability, access, stability and utilization.

In addition, this year’s report examines the diverse experiences of seven countries, with a specific focus on the enabling environment for food security and nutrition that reflects commitment and capacities across four dimensions: policies, programmes and legal frameworks; mobilization of human and financial resources; coordination mechanisms and partnerships; and evidence-based decision-making.

You can read the key messages or download your full copy from the FAO website: