Full-scale operations of cassava enterprise seen to benefit 40,000 farmers in South Cotabato
MANILA, March 9 (PNA) — The Department of Agriculture (DA) is optimistic about the start of full-scale operations of the cassava granules production and marketing in South Cotabato with the release of Php2.2-million funding.
The amount is the last tranche of the Php39-million funding earmarked for the rootcrop enterprise under the DA’s Philippine Rural Development Project (DA-PRDP).
“Now that the [balance for the] Php39-million fund for this project was already downloaded to us, our members will be surely inspired to continue their venture in cassava and the PRDP,” Elbert Damerez, chairperson of the Polomolok-based Polo Samahang Nayon Multi-Purpose Cooperative said in a statement.
South Cotabato’s cassava industry provides livelihood to more than 40,000 farmers in the province, which has the highest average yield per hectare in the country at 34.51 metric tons.
The feed mill industry in the region is the main market for the cassava chips and granules, which are processed into animal feeds.
The Polo South Cotabato cassava cluster, through its PRDP-assisted enterprise, aims to supply the required volume for this market.
The lead proponent group reported the completed construction of three solar dryers with warehouses and vermicomposting facility.
It already received the tractors, cassava granulators and chippers, and other materials for production support also provided under the project.
Along with other facilities and equipment, the newly constructed solar dryer with warehouse under the DA-PRDP now offer strengthened support to South Cotabato’s cassava industry in terms of increasing production and ensuring quality to meet local and international standards.
The PRDP is a six-year government platform designed for an inclusive, value chain-oriented and climate-resilient agriculture and fisheries sector.
It is implemented by the DA and jointly funded by the World Bank, national government and local government units.