By Ellalyn De Vera-Ruiz
The Department of Agriculture (DA) through its Philippine Rural Development Project (PRDP) has signaled the start of full-scale operations of the cassava granules production and marketing subproject in South Cotabato with the release of the last tranche of the P39-million funding for the rootcrop enterprise.
The Polomolok-based Polo Samahang Nayon Multi-Purpose Cooperative (PLO SN MPC) and the affiliate cooperatives of the South Cotabato cassava cluster received the checks worth P2.2 million from the World Bank, national government and provincial government of South Cotabato.
“Now that the (balance for the) P39-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 Polo SN MPC, said.
Aside from this recent development, the lead proponent group also reported the completed construction of three solar dryers with warehouses and vermi-composting facility.
Likewise, the lead proponent group and its four cluster members already received the tractors, cassava granulators and chippers, and other materials for production support also provided under the Project.
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. (