Meeting the Demands of the Cassava Industry in the Region

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Created on Monday, 18 February 2013


Region 7 has something to be proud, and that is its flourishing cassava industry.

The region’s largely industrial and commercial profile made the demand of the cassava ubiquitous. Its wide usage include for food, feeds, fuel and other industrial uses.

Ranking fourth, nationwide,  Region 7 accounts  6 % of the total national production (based on the Bureau of Agricultural Statistics record), making it one of the busiest hub for cassava processing in the country today. Strategically positioned, are big starch millers,  feedmillers and huge flour milling companies- all demanding more than 184,000 metric tons of cassava annually in Central Visayas.  

Meeting head on with the demand is the problems plaguing the industry such as  low productivity with a national average reaching only 10.25 tons per hectare (BAS 2012 report) versus  its potential yield of 20-60 tons per hectare, limited post-harvest equipments , lack of quality and high-yielding planting materials of recommended varieties , lack of credit access and low quality of cassava products.  

The situation called for the Department of Agriculture Regional Field Unit  7 to create a program to help farmers with similar problems. Records with the Regional Cassava Focal Person, Engr Edna  Yu, reveals that the region grants  a total of P1.4M worth of  granulators with shredders aimed at addressing the postharvest dilemma of cassava farmers in the region. One of the program beneficiaries is the  cassava farmers’ organization in Pinamungahan who are granted with the said equipment. Members   are now able to sell their produce to a big private company at a higher price.

 
Cassava farmers in Pinamugnahan , Cebu,  avail of the granulator.
   
Underway  is the  production of   cassava seed pieces or planting materials  for the 15-hectare area of separate demo farms in DA-stations located in Bohol Expriment Station (BES), Soil-Water Research & Development Station (SWRDS), Ubay Stock Farm (USF) and in Siquijor Province.   A  P1.15 M allocation for training programs, almost half a million fund for the establishment of cassava techno-demo areas in the four (4) provinces of Central Visayas  and P75T for research and development.

Expected output include an increased cassava production from 128,156 metric tons (with 2011 as the base year), to at least 397,895 metric tons by year 2017, an increased average yield from 8.06 metric tons to at least 17 metric tons per hectare by year 2017, and improved quality of cassava primary products.

Promising performance of  showcased varieties were observed  in the on-going demonstration areas in the region namely, the Lakan and Rayong5 for table varieties and the Sultan and CMR varieties for industrial uses.

Afterall the cassava industry is still  one of the most challenging yet profitable industries in the region.

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