CAUAYAN CITY, Isabela —Corn farmers in this city are now shifting to cassava farming due to huge losses brought about by the effects of climate change in the province, according to the city agriculture office here.
City agriculturist Rufino Arcega said many of their farmers are saving more money from planting cassava which requires small amount of capital compared to corn farming requiring huge capital for expensive inputs and preparations.
“Our record in the agriculture office shows that around 3,200 hectares of farmlands in the city are already planted with cassava, a root crop which is resilient to the effects of climate change,” Arcega said.
He said they are looking at eventually expanding the area for this dry spell-resistant crop once other corn farmers follow suit in cassava planting.
Studies, he said, showed that cassava is considered as a viable field crop due to its capability to survive drastic climatic changes, especially dry spells or drought.
“Besides the requirement of small capital, the crop is also drought-resistant and that farmers are assured of a ready market for their cassava harvests,” Arcega said.
He said farmers will have no problem with possible fluctuations of its market prices as buyers pay for fresh cassava starting at P2.50 per kilo and dried-chips in granulated form at more than P8.50 a kilo.
He also explained that a cooperative here is willing to buy the farmers’ harvests in bulk at reasonable price provided it conforms to the cooperative’s requirements.
Arcega said this venture is expected to generate more jobs and improve farmers’ living standards here expecting the market prices and demand for the crop to continually increase in the coming years.