ASSESSING THE SUCCESS OF FARMERS' ASSOCIATIONS: THE CASE OF BAYBAY CITY, LEYTE, PHILIPPINES
This research study assessed the internal functions and external factors affecting the success of farmers' associations (FAs) in Baybay City, Leyte, Philippines, which were registered as vegetable producers. A total of twenty (20) FA officers, 68 FA members and one (1) city agriculture technician comprised the study respondents. Two survey methods were used: the Key Informants Interview (KII) to gather data related to external factors with city agriculture technicians and a structured questionnaire to gather internal factor-related data with FA members and FA officers. Mean, standard deviation, and percentages were used to describe the internal and external factors affecting the FAs. Correlation analysis was also applied to determine the relationship of the internal and external factors to the success of FAs. Results showed that 53% of FAs were 3 to 4 years in existence with an average of 29 members; 68% of them were women. FA members indicated a high satisfaction rate on FAs' functions for providing technical information and provision of inputs. Results revealed that FAs' equity growth rate increased from 32.92% in 2014-2015 to 81.65% in 2017-2018. The study's findings revealed a significant relationship between internal factors, namely leadership, building capacities, cooperation of other organizations and FAs' success. The external factors; namely, political factors (government programs) and economic factors (input costs), significantly affected FAs' success. Hence, human resource mobilization skills need to be additionally built up to stimulate more participation and responsibility from farmers.