AUTHOR/S: Glenn D. Depra, Christine S. Diaz, Mildred M. Estanda
With Mindanao as the food basket of the Philippines, Davao City provides investment opportunities in agricultural development. Climate change poses a threat to these investment opportunities. Insufficient data hampers the efforts in addressing these threats. This study aims to gather Davao-wide data on land use and crop suitability. Scientific and social data were collected from December 2017 until April 2018. Spatial data were collected using GIS approach. Soil samples were collected and analyzed to determine soil characteristics. Social data were collected using focus group discussions and key informant interviews.
Soil characterization conducted in this study indicates lack of suitability for farming. Farmers are only able to grow crops through soil conditioners, both synthetic and organic. Farmers have chosen crops to grow depending on market demand and trends in the community. Arable land once utilized for corn and vegetable farming had been abandoned due to soil degradation. These abandoned lands have lost soil cover and are prone to erosion, further reducing land productivity. Soil surface had become semi impermeable by water, increasing threats from climate change.
Current cash crops (Durian, Mangosteen and other fruit-bearing trees) are expected to be affected by rainfall patterns; semi-impermeable soil will lead to root rot while drought will lead to wilting. Cacao is a more climate-resilient crop; its leaf litter provides soil conditioners that will improve its yield over time. Better farmer education can lead to more sound economic decisions.
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