DA intensifies mass production of cassava PDF Print E-mail
Monday, 22 August 2011 13:19

To raise both farm production and incomes of small farmers in region 9, the DA is intensifying mass production of cassava in the different areas including idle lands in coordination with the local government unit’s regionwide.

Ahmad Nahul, regional cassava focal person/IPM coordinator disclosed that the cassava production project is for industrial purposes and human consumption. He said that at the moment intensive advocacy and information dissemination are being conducted for the LGUs to put high considerations on the project.

Farmers are encouraged to venture in cassava because there are multi -national companies willing to buy it in bulk at reasonable price provided it conforms to their requirements.

Cassava production will augment farmers’ income and address the pressure on rice and corn.  It will also cater the needs of the cassava- eating communities.  Muslim and nomads in Mindanao prefer to eat cassava as an alternative for rice and corn.

Nahul said an initial three hectares as project sites in Barangay Tictapul, Tumitus and Tagasilay, Zamboanga City were established  as the  propagation areas and nurseries for planting materials of high quality   cassava for distribution  and planting to the different target areas in the region. Land preparation for food consumption variety is also being undertaken in some areas of Dumingag Municipality, Zamboanga Del Sur; Siraway, Siayan, Sindangan andManukan  all in Zamboanga Del Norte. For Industrial variety, a two-hectare area was established in Dinas Municipality, Zamboanga Del Sur; Tungawan, ZamboangaSibugay.  Some eight hectares will be identified as nursery sites for cutting propagation.

Farmer-cooperator who is the land owner will prepare the land, plant the cuttings and maintain the project as their counterpart while the DA will provide the cassava cuttings, six  bags inorganic fertilizers (14 14 14), 10 bags organic fertilizers and two gallons of round up, per hectare for free. The farmer-cooperator will have the tubers while the DA will only get the cuttings as planting materials for distribution to the next-in-line farmer-recipient.

The campaign is continuously and vigorously pursued to support the government’s effort in increasing farmers’ income and  job generation.  It will also answer the high demand of some industrial companies for animal feeds, flour, corn starch, wine making, bio-ethanol and others. — Willy Peñaflor/DA9