Despite reported economic growth for the Philippines in the last decades, increasing poverty has become a major concern with a high relative proportion of the poor belonging to the agriculture sector. Corn is the second major agricultural crop in the Philippines, which has posted increasing production trends in the last 12 years. But despite this reported growth, families engaged in corn production are among the poorest in the agriculture sector.

In the Philippine uplands, yellow corn production has increased substantially in recent years. Rise in yellow corn demand from a growing livestock sector has transformed the landscape that can scarcely support this type of crop. This shift in land use is having profound impacts on the socio-economic dynamics of upland communities. Low maintenance, high yielding variety (HYV) corn has attracted small upland farmers due to the promise of high returns, despite many risks such as climate, pests, and environmental factors resulting in crop failures and eventually, an endless cycle of debt.

This context moved LUCID partner institutions to investigate how decisions to change land use are made within households. This is important in that the more a situation is precarious and vulnerable, the greater the chance that decisions are ill-founded, giving rise to adverse consequences to human development. Effects are manifested not only in the socio-economic and cultural situations of the farmers, but also in the local environment in which they live. Land use transformation is thus a major concern since it potentially brings about land degradation, especially in highly intensive agriculture as HYV corn.

What We Do

LUCID is a 5-year research and training project to:

  • Conduct a comprehensive analysis of the economic, social, and cultural dynamics associated with land use change
  • Build research capacities of faculty members in partner academic institutions through scholarship grants; and
  • Raise awareness and disseminate results among upland farming households, governments, civil society, and private sector.

Project Title

Social Justice Implications of Land Use Change in the Philippine Uplands: Analysis of the Socio-Economic Drivers and Impacts on the Land and its People (LUCID)

Project Duration

1 July 2016 – 30 June 2021 (5 years), extended to 31 August 2022 due to the pandemic

Main Funding Support

Where We Work

LUCID research is conducted in three provinces representing the three major island groups – Luzon, Visayas, and Mindanao – where high input corn agriculture had been introduced and has since proliferated.

  1. Bukidnon, Mindanao
  2. Iloilo, Visayas
  3. Isabela, Luzon