Official Publication of the Philippine Information Agency Bicol Regional Office, in cooperation with the RIAC-REDIRAS - RDC Bicol

Thursday, October 27, 2016

DA Bicol urges Albay corn farmers to augment income thru cassava production

LEGAZPI CITY, Oct 27 (PIA) -- Over 40 corn farmers and agricultural technicians from Ligao City and Polangui, Albay participated in the recently held Training on Cassava Production and Processing in Barangay Alnay, Polangui conducted by the Department of Agriculture (DA) Bicol.

DA Bicol corn program staff Aileen Breboneria said this training aims to capacitate and help augment the income of farmers by intercropping cassava in their corn farms further citing that farmers from corn areas in Masbate and Camarines Sur will also undergo training.

DA Bicol senior science research specialist Nympha Autos said that at present there are 48 cassava varieties that were accredited by the Regional Varietal Improvement Group on Rootcrops from Visayas State University, University of the Philippines-Los Baños and other plant breeding institutions and stations of the Department of Agriculture.

Autos added that in the Bicol Region, there are cassava varieties identified as Orbase, Lanuza and Laysa.

Although there is no new technology or practice introduced during the training, Autos encouraged the farmers to have their soil tested or analyzed before applying fertilizers.

“They should also limit the use of fertilizers for their cassava since there are fertilizer residues from their corn farms,” she said.

She futher advised the farmers to plant Tuba-tuba (jatropha) in their fields as an alternate host to the pests and diseases attacking cassava plants

The participants in the said training likewise shared practices that can adopted and concerns that call for intervention from the DA and other concerned agencies.

Farmer Rodrigo Bañadera of Sitio Garayon, Barangay Balinad, Polangui shared that they plant cassava a month after they plant corn which is normally in December.

He said that after harvesting their cassava, he would lay the stalks in the field and leave it for several days from which new shoots will grow. He would again cut the stalks with new shoots and re-plant it. He then noticed that its tubers are larger compared to the first harvested tubers.

LGU Polangui agricultural technician for corn Cesar Sandro Jr. related that although there are a number of farmers engaged in cassava production, there is no stable market compared to corn.

Sandro hoped that through this training, the farmers will be organized into a farmers’ association for them to synchronize their efforts and ventilate their needs to the DA and other institutions.

“Barato an bakal sa saod kan balinghoy, a-singko kada kilo (Cassava is brought at a low price in the market, P5.00 per kilo),” said Donna Bazar of Balinad, Polangui.

Bazar said that in her 27 years as farmer, the cheap price of their cassava has always been their complaint.

At present, LGU-Polangui has no marketing support to their cassava produce except promotion and trainings.(MAL/SAA/DA5/PIA5/Albay)

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