Cassava farming is a profitable enterprise if given the right technology. This in a capsule was reported by Mr. John Leo Bungubong, the Project Leader of the Cassava Model Farm established in Binalonan, Pangasinan as a result of the cost and return analysis of one hectare cassava farming he reported during the farmers’ field day on October 25, 2019.
The Cassava Model Farm is a project initiated by the Department of Agriculture-Regional Field Office I in collaboration with the Local Government Units that aims to showcase mechanized farming in cassava production while improving the productivity of the commodity and consequently increase the production and income of farmers in the region.
Established in a 10-hectare area, involving 24 farmer-cooperators, the project used the golden yellow cassava variety and 1mx1m distance of planting following three treatments that focused on varied fertilizer applications.
Treatment 1 involves the general recommendation or the farmer’s practice in the area (use of urea fertilizer only), while treatment 2 uses the general recommendation plus the use of 8 bags complete and one bag muriate of potash. Treatment 3 includes the general recommendation, plus the use of soil ameliorant.
Based on the computed yield per hectare cassava production as a result of the crop cut conducted by the DA team, treatment 3 yielded the highest productivity as it recorded a 24.0 tons/ha followed by treatment 2 with an 18.5 tons/ha yield. Treatment 2 showed the lowest computed average yield as it only recorded 17.5 tons/ha., but way higher than the regional cassava average yield with only 9 tons/ha according as per data of Philippine Statistics Authority.
With a cost of production ranging from P32,950 – P33,650 in all the three treatments, Mr. Bungubong revealed that treatment three or the general recommendation plus the use of soil ameliorant gives a high return of investment with 390.84% for every peso invested.
Having realized the potential of cassava farming as a profitable business enterprise, farmers in Binalonan like Mr. Riley Navarro and Mr. Loreto Aradanas expressed gratitude to the DA-RFO I and the LGU of Binalonan for the conduct of the cassava model farm.
“Nagpapasalamat kami sa DA at sa LGU-Binalonan sa proyektong ito at sana mabigyan kami ng soil-ameliorant na ginamit namin dito sa model farm dahil napatunayan namin na epektibo ito sa kamoteng kahoy at iba pang uri ng pananim,” (We're very grateful to DA and the LGU-Binalonan for this project and we hope to be given soil ameliorant which we used for this model farm as we seen how effective it is for cassava and other crops), Mr. Aradanas enthused.
To encourage more farmers to engage in cassava production, Ms. Rhoda Galban, Focal Person on Corn in Ilocos Region, announced the readiness of DA in providing production support to farmers like machineries and equipment such as cassava planter and digger to ease their cassava production.
She also encouraged the farmers’ organization in the area to organize and form into cluster for them to have a chance in winning the DA’s Cassava Cluster Excellent Award which provides winning cluster associations with P5M cash prize.
“As early as now, you need to prepare your cluster development plan, register your association into cluster for you to have more chances of winning in the said excellent award,” Ms. Galban said.