Going Bananas - Restoring Livelihoods of Conflict Affected Farmers in Cotabato

This project aims to restore the livelihoods of smallholder farmers in the Cotabato region of Philippines by establishing a sustainable farming system facilitated by capacity building and a market value chain based on organic bananas.


  • Lead school School of Agricultural, Forest and Food Sciences
  • Institute HAFL Institut Hugo P. Cecchini
  • Research unit International Agriculture and Rural Development
  • Funding organisation Others
  • Duration (planned) 01.07.2020 - 31.12.2024
  • Project management Prof. Dr. Gurbir Singh Bhullar
  • Head of project Prof. Dr. Gurbir Singh Bhullar
  • Project staff Prof. Dr. Gurbir Singh Bhullar
  • Partner Aidenvironment
    Netherlands Enterprise Agency (RVO)
  • Keywords Rural Livelihoods. Food Security, Poverty Alleviation, Sustainable Farming Systems, Participatory Technology Development, Capacity Building, Intercropping, Agroforestry, Organic Agriculture


The project region is a post-conflict area with a high level of poverty and food insecurity. Deforestation for unsustainable cultivation of annual (cash) crops has led to substantial erosion, run-off and land degradation. A lot of soil has been lost in the past decade leading to destruction and disappearance of drinking water sources of rural communities. Several decades of conflict has depleted the resources for optimal crop production as well as hindered the development of farming knowhow. As a result, the region has one of the highest incidence of poverty and food insecurity in Philippines. This project aims at reforesting the slopes with Banana grown together with other native plants and by implementing water harvesting and erosion control measures. The project applies participatory approaches for capacity building of local farmers as well as of the agricultural field staff.

This project contributes to the following SDGs

  • 2: Zero hunger
  • 15: Life on land