Alternative research: A challenge to the academia in a powerty stricken country S28
Briones, Angelina1; Vicente, Perfecto2; Gibe, Jaime2.
1) Dept. of Soil Science, University of the Philippines Los Banos, College,Laguna 4031, Philippines, 2) 9379 Lopez Avenue, Los Banos, Laguna 4030, Philippines
|The Philippines is a poverty-stricken country whose agricultural research and education have been patterned after highly industrialized nations particularly the United States. Development paradigms have put science and technology at its nerve center. For the Philippines, this means dependence of poor, barely-schooled farmers on packaged technologies from the government. Farmers are the main actors in food production yet they are continually crippled by poverty. Development paradigms should instead put the people at its nerve center. The MASIPAG (Filipino acronym for farmer-scientist partnership for alternative research in agriculture) project pursues this paradigm and shows that science can work directly with and for the grassroots. Through ten years of work, the farmer-scientist partnership (FSP) was able to create new rice seeds (109 advanced and promising new lines) and identified locally adapted varieties (LAVs) under various agroenvironments in Luzon,Visayas and Mindanao. Beyond these tangible results, however, is a far-reaching, intangible gain. Knowledge, skills and cultures mutually shared by the partners heightened everyone`s wisdom and broadened everyone`s social concerns. With this experience, we dare the academe to take a bold step, venture beyond reductionist paradigms and make research truly participatory.