COMMUNITY BIODIVERSITY DEVELOPMENT AND CONSERVATION -
BIODIVERSITY USE AND CONSERVATION PROGRAMME (CBDC-BUCAP)
2007 to 2010
The CBDC-BUCAP project, implemented from 2007 to 2010, aimed to strengthen farmers’ rights to plant genetic resources conservation, development, and use towards farmer empowerment for sustainable agriculture and livelihood systems.
Its specific objectives were to:
Conserve and develop plant genetic resources (PGR) diversity;
Improve livelihoods through sustainable use of PGR diversity;
Strengthen farmers’ management system of their plant genetic resources at the community, national and regional levels;
Strengthen and develop capacities of local institutions and other stakeholders to support farmers’ management of their PGR diversity; and
Affect policy environment with positive changes and actions at local, national, regional and international levels towards the protection of farmers’ rights over their PGR.
CBDC-BUCAP is a combination of two programs with different thrust but with the same goals. CBDC aimed to strengthen farmers’ management of plant genetic resources (PGR) through new methods and approaches and affect policy changes. BUCAP, on the other hand, intended to develop the capacities of local institutions to support farmers’ management of their resources. The merging of these two programs mobilized more farmers, agricultural specialist, policymakers, and funding agencies towards a convergence of efforts on the promotion of farmers’ rights and empowerment towards proper management of PGR conservation, development and utilization (CDU).
A. Increased on the Diversity of Crops and Varieties
The choices of farmers when it came to seeds used to be limited from one to three varieties per cropping season. Under CBDC-BUCAP, partners learned how to collect, conserve, and rehabilitate traditional varieties and develop new ones. As a result, they were able to produce their own seeds according to their preferences and provide a wider range of options not only for themselves but for others in their communities as well. This shows the significant contribution of farmers in increasing on-farm diversity.
B. Improved in Livelihood through Sustainable Use of
Increased diversity of crops, production of high-quality seeds, and practice of integrated farming and organic agriculture led to reduction in expenditures and generation of revenues through the sale of surplus in harvests and marketing of seeds and agricultural by-products. Subsequently, the threats of food shortage diminished with the introduction of other food production techniques and interventions, e.g. vegetable cultivation, fish farming, and livestock production. The project did not only offer additional provisions; it also ensured better quality produce and helped improve health of farmers and their families.
C. Strengthened Capacity of Farming Communities in PGR Management
The capacity building interventions afforded farmers with new and more appropriate knowledge and skills. Among the skills, participatory plant breeding (PPB) and participatory varietal selection (PVS) were found to be the most useful as these equipped the farmers with the basic requisites for self-sufficiency. At the end of the program, more than 2,500 farmer breeders, selectors, and trainers were already capable of managing PGR CDU activities. But the success of PGR CDU lies not only in the capacities of individual farmers but more so on the might of farmers’ groups, which were organized precisely to be the collective voice in advancing their rights.
D. Strengthened Capacity-Building among Stakeholders
Through the program, pools of farmer trainers and researchers were established. Researchers, plant breeders, and extension workers who provided technical backstopping went through continuous skills upgrading sessions as part of strengthening institutional support. The number of these specialists grew as the project progressed and expanded into other areas and sectors.
Linkage with the private sector, notably the academe, was established to have PGR CDU integrated in academic curricula and to ensure that future generation of agriculture researchers and extension agents would already be equipped with knowledge and skills once they become practitioners of community-based PGR CDU. Alongside farmer partners, researchers, extension workers, and teachers received continuous education on PGR CDU through training, internships, local and international exchange programs, and conferences.
The public and private institutions are the other integral partners of the CBDC-BUCAP project in the implementation of interventions and continuing education of farmers.
Though still on a limited degree and mostly at the local level, farmers and direct implementers have secured government support in the project countries in various aspects. Financial, technical, and material assistance was extended for several activities. Individual farmers, farmers’ groups, and seeds clubs have been recognized for their work on PGR CDU. In addition, local and provincial policies were formulated to support the efforts of the project. Worth mentioning too is CBDC-BUCAP’s contribution to governments of the project countries as it has helped provide livelihood and ensure food security for the people and, at the same time, protect the environment, two major goals of every country.
F. Increased Participation of Youth and Women on Agro-
Women farmers were among the target groups of the project and CBDC-BUCAP encouraged their active participation in major aspects of implementation. Farmer-partners reported equal participation between men and women when it came to farm work. The community self-assessment (CSA) revealed that prior to implementation, women farmers depended on their husbands to make the decisions. Participation in CBDC-BUCAP helped them become more self-confident and developed persuasion capabilities encouraging them to be involved in the decision-making process in their families.
E. Empowered Farmers and their Communities to Influence
biodiversity Conservation and Management.