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Cultural consensus knowledge of rice farmers for climate risk management in the Philippines

Ruzol, Clarissa, Lomente, Laizha Lynn and Pulhin, Juan (2022) Cultural consensus knowledge of rice farmers for climate risk management in the Philippines. Climate Risk Management, 32. ISSN 2212-0963

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Identification Number: 10.1016/j.crm.2021.100298


Despite efforts and investments to integrate weather and climate knowledges, often dichotomized into the scientific and the local, a top-down practice of science communication that tends to ignore cultural consensus knowledge still prevails. This paper presents an empirical application of cultural consensus analysis for climate risk management. It uses mixed methods such as focus groups, freelisting, pilesorting, and rapid ethnographic assessment to understand farmers’ knowledge of weather and climate conditions in Barangay Biga, Oriental Mindoro, Philippines. Multi-dimensional scaling and aggregate proximity matrix of items are generated to assess the similarity among the different locally perceived weather and climate conditions. Farmers’ knowledge is then qualitatively compared with the technical classification from the government's weather bureau. There is cultural agreement among farmers that the weather and climate conditions can be generally grouped into wet, dry, and unpredictable weather (Maria Loka). Damaging hazards belong into two subgroups on the opposite ends of the wet and dry scale, that is, tropical cyclone is grouped together with La Niña, rainy season, and flooding season, while farmers perceive no significant difference between El Niño, drought, and dry spells. Ethnographic information reveals that compared to the technocrats’ reductive knowledge, farmers imagine weather and climate conditions (panahon) as an event or a phenomenon they are actively experiencing by observing bioindicators, making sense of the interactions between the sky and the landscape, and the agroecology of pest and diseases, while being subjected to agricultural regulations on irrigation, price volatility, and control of power on subsidies and technologies. This situated local knowledge is also being informed by forecasts and advisories from the weather bureau illustrating a hybrid of technical science, both from the technocrats and the farmers, and personal experiences amidst agricultural precarities. Speaking about the hybridity of knowledge rather than localizing the scientific obliges technocrats and scientists to productively engage with different ways of knowing and the tensions that mediate farmers' knowledge as a societal experience.

Item Type: Article
Official URL:
Additional Information: © 2021 The Authors
Divisions: Anthropology
Subjects: S Agriculture > S Agriculture (General)
G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation > GE Environmental Sciences
Date Deposited: 26 Apr 2022 14:21
Last Modified: 03 May 2022 23:17

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