ZamPen low on cassava planting materials—DA

Posted on Tuesday, August 14th, 2012 and is filed under Community, Lead Stories. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

IPIL, Zamboanga Sibugay/14 August 2012 by Marnette Daguro—Known for its versatile use for foods, feeds, and industrial, among others, cassava production  in the region remains low.

In a stakeholders’ meeting held recently at the Ricomar’s Pension House in Ipil, Zamboanga Sibugay Province, one of the identified causes for low production is the lack of quality planting materials.  “The demand for cassava is high not only in the region but the country as a whole.  That is why, we will campaign for the promotion and expansion of lands for cassava,” says  Felizardo Samomes,  Department of Agriculture’s (DA) Regional Corn Coordinator.

Cassava Assemblers with LGUs and DA representatives. PHOTO COURTESY OF DA9

Other identified issues that limit cassava production in the region were: lack of facilities for drying, hauling and storage; climate change; location specific technologies; and the absence of farm-to-market roads within the cassava production sites.

It was agreed that DA and the local government units (LGUs) will provide trainings to the farmers especially those within the cluster production areas, with consideration of accessibility and strengthening of public-private-partnership.

The Bureau of Agricultural Statistics (BAS) reported that the region’s cassava yield per hectare for the first quarter this year is only 4.5 metric tons.  “This is way too low compared that of Region 10 which is 22 metric tons per hectare,” Salomes said.

Cassava is one of the priority commodities under the Food Staple Sufficiency Program (FSSP) which aims to strengthen national resiliency through the production of food staple that would minimize the impact of climate change. Cassava is under the corn banner program.  In the region, it is consumed both as snacks and staple.

Cassava is easy to plant, needs less maintenance and one of the drought-tolerant crops. It can be successfully grown in marginal soils and gives reasonable yield where many other crops do not grow well. It is rich in carbohydrates, calcium and vitamin C and contains a nutritionally significant quantity of thiamine, riboflavin and nicotinic acid. Cassava is a highly productive crop in terms of food calories.

With proper technology and other input components, cassava could give farmers a sustainable income.

Said stakeholders’ meeting brought together Ahmad Nahul- Regional Cassava Focal Person, Rosalita Tamba- KFI Manager of Zamboanga City, Engr. Roger B. Ladera- MPDC, Polanco Zamboanga del Norte, Rewel Galo- BOD Chairman, RAMENCO, Zamboanga del Sur, Vicente G. Balingit- APCO/OIC, DA RSO, Dipolog City, Maria Melba B. Wee, DA Information Chief, cassava growers, processors and representatives from San Miguel Corporation’s Assemblers, Office of the Provincial Agriculturist and Lubigan farmers, of Zamboanga City.  (Marnette Daguro, DA 9)

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