10 million metric tons of cassava production by 2014

BUTUAN CITY (PNA) – The government is targeting at least 10 million metric tons of cassava production by year 2014 due to its huge potential market, officials said over the weekend.

Brielgo O. Pagaran, Region 13 office of the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI 13) director, said more farmers in the Caraga Region were planting cassava, a promising agribusiness venture in Northeastern Mindanao.

For its part, the Department of Agriculture (DA) Regional Field Unit 13 also viewed the rising cassava production.

Dr. Candido Damo, cassava project official under GMA Corn Program, said that based on the five-year projected demand established during the recently held National Cassava Stakeholders Meeting, the demand for cassava this year was pegged at five million metric tons and expected to increase to 10 metric tons by 2014.

“As of 2009 production, we are only supplying about 46 percent of the current demand, so there’s still huge market potential,” said Damo.

He said cassava production in the country had not met yet the demand of the market thus opportunity still awaits the farmers.

Due to the gap between cassava production and the demand, some of the processors import supplies from other countries such as Thailand to fill in their requirements, he said.

However, the official expressed optimism that Filipino farmers could meet the local demand of the industry due to positive status of cassava production in the country that continually surge in terms of volume production brought by increased area planted and yield per unit area.

“Today, we have already 2,004 metric tons cassava production and registered higher yield level from eight to 9.7 metric tons per hectare now,” added Damo.

About 80 percent of cassava production, excluding human consumption, goes to feed formulation by feed millers as ingredients for animals and aqua feeds, he explained.

With this development, to boost production in the country, the DA through the GMA Corn Program wherein cassava is a sub-project, focuses on the commodity through the three major interventions.

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