The Department of Agriculture-Regional Field Office 8 (DA-RFO 8) together with the City Agriculture Office of Maasin conducted the cassava production technology training on September 7 to 9 in Brgy. Libertad, Maasin City, Southern Leyte.
Following the prescribed health protocols, around 20 farmers from different barangays of Maasin City participated during the three-day training. Representatives from the City Agriculture and Fishery Council of Maasin and the Provincial Agricultural Services Office—Southern Leyte were also present to extend technical assistance and other support on the conduct of the activity.
Technical personnel of the DA-RFO 8 through its Corn Program/Cassava Project served as resource persons of the production technology training. Some of the topics discussed include cultural management techniques on cassava production, insect pests and diseases and its control, harvesting and post-harvest operations.
Aside from the lecture, the participants were also given the opportunity to experience the actual field work. In the demonstration site of the barangay, the farmers practiced the recommended technology guide on land preparation and planting methods, followed by fertilizer application. The cassava cuttings used for the training were the planting materials produced from the cassava model farm established in Malitbog Satellite Station.
Gemma B. Maco, one of the participants from Brgy. Pansaan, Maasin City, said she was able to learn new farming technologies on a par with traditional practices. Other participants shared their concerns during the open forum, particularly on marketing and other government support. It was also learned that the production technology training was part of the support on the establishment of the cassava model farm project in the said city.
The National Corn Program of the Department of Agriculture introduced the cassava model farm project in 2018 to address the increasing demand on cassava for food and feeds, and to encourage other regions to increase production yield of the said crop. The project specifically aimed to increase productivity of at least 20 metric tons per hectare, reduce production costs through farm mechanization, and produce quality cassava tubers and planting materials.
The City Agriculture Office of Maasin identified the cassava farmers who shall participate in the establishment of the model farm having the target area of 30 hectares. Cassava planting materials, fertilizers and other inputs shall be provided by the regional field office.
Aside from that, the farmer-cooperators shall also be part of the upcoming activity on Bayanihan Agri Clusters which highlights the advantages of clustering and consolidation approach where organized farmers can avail support and investments, better market access, and benefits from economies of scale.