SULU, October 7, 2022 – Continuous support to high value crop production pours for six (6) farmers associations (FAs) in Sulu after receiving additional inputs of post production machinery from the Department of Agriculture-Special Area for Agricultural Development (DA-SAAD) Program for Cassava Production Project.
Cassava is abundant and widely grown in Sulu as most of the farmers plant the crop for livelihood and food consumption. Cassava farmers are still using a laborious practice of manual grating, thus, SAAD Program targets to help these farmers improve their farming methods by using a cassava grater and presser.
SAAD delivered farming equipment to support the Cassava Production Project in four municipalities in Sulu, benefiting six farmer associations (FA) on September 14, 2022.
Table 1. Farmers Associations who received inputs for Cassava Production Project
According to Sulu Area Coordinator (AC) Alkhartemar Sangkula, who was present during the mechanical inspection held on September 9, 2022, by the DA Region 9 Regional Agricultural Engineering Division in Zamboanga City, the cassava grater will minimize time and labor cost.
“The equipment will be very beneficial to the farmers for ease and efficiency of labor, compared to the manual process of cassava grating which requires a lot of time. It only takes four minutes and ten seconds for the machine to grate100 kilograms (kg) of peeled cassava. With this technology, farmers can save time and perform other farm activities,” stated AC Sangkula.
“Iyaangan-angan ku sin maka harvest na aku sin panggi tiyanum ku ha sungun bulan October. Makug iban makuyag aku mausal in gilingan panggi tiyukbal sin DA-SAAD kamu. Landu ako nahaylan bang biya diin in sapat sin pag giling sin panggi ha lawum lima minit. Makadawhat aku sin maka pa awun na aku maamu iban marayaw panggi tiyumpian daing ha pag-usal sin gigiling panggi ini,” shared Joy Hadijula, member of Lumping Farmers Association.
(I am looking forward to harvesting my cassava farm this coming October. I am very excited to use the new farming technology that the DA-SAAD provided us. It is just so amazing how the machine works and transforms fresh roots into grates in less than five minutes. I am looking forward to producing good quality cassava grates using this machine.)
Prior to the distribution, a comprehensive demonstration of the machine’s operations, and other preventive maintenance was also conducted by Asap General Trading and Construction Maintenance, the supplier of the equipment, to ensure beneficiaries have the technical know-how to operate and maintain it for longer use.
Also present during the delivery were Senior Agriculturist in Crop production Management from the Ministry of Agriculture Fisheries and Agrarian Reform (MAFAR), Ms. Bea Alih, SAAD Provincial Coordinator Analisa Dauring, and Area Coordinators Alkhartemar Sangkula, Amed Tuttuh, and Farhan Abdulla.
Each FAs in Talipao have 7 hectare (ha) cassava production, while the FAs from the remaining covered municipalities have 10 ha production areas each. The FAs plan to harvest their cassava between October and the end of December 2022. While waiting for the time of harvest, the FAs decided to come up with a sustainability plan for the equipment by allowing other farmers outside the association to rent the cassava grater and use the collected money as funds for maintenance and future repairs.
After harvesting and apart from personal consumption for their families, the FAs plan to sell the grated cassava in Jolo market, the main bazaar in the province. Also, both Samak Farmers Association and Lumping Farmers Association from Talipao target their harvest by the end of October and plan to sell their grated cassava in the municipality just in time for the upcoming “Barakajaan” (town feast) in November. ###
Writer: Ellaine Quiamco, DA-SAAD Region 9 Information Officer