A great income opportunity awaits the agrarian reform beneficiaries (ARBs) in Cagayan Valley when the San Miguel Foods Inc. (SMFI) linked up with them for its Cassava Assembler Program, the Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR) said recently.
The SMFI refers to cassava assemblers as those farmers who are into cassava production.
DAR Cagayan Valley Regional Director III Jessbeth Quidasol said the SMFI’s program tapped the farmer-beneficiaries as direct suppliers for its agri-based raw materials particularly the cassava crops for the production of its B-MEG products.
Quidasol said helping the farmers tie up with different agri-business companies is part of the DAR’s effort to make the farmers more competitive in preparation for the entry of foreign products in 2015, referring to the integration of the economy of the 10-nation Association of South East Nation (ASEAN).
“The SMFI offers the cassava assemblers a guaranteed market for their produce according to mutually agreed product quality, volume and delivery schedule, floor price, and a start-up technical assistance in production, post-harvest and logistics operations under its program,” Quidasol said.
Cassava is one of the main ingredients for B-MEG feeds due to its highly digestible quality, high energy, presence of lactic acid in the crop and ability to nurture good bacteria.
SMFI’s Business Development Analyst Raymund Britanico said technology of cassava production involves good management and good soil preparation. More importantly, he added, cassava requires lesser amount of water than other crops, and is more resistant to climate change,” he added.
“To become a cassava assembler, the SMFI requires a minimum of 25 hectares of farmland that has the capacity to consolidate such crop,” Britanico said.
The SMFI’s feasibility program also showed that five area coordinators for the region had been deployed by SMFI to assist farmers who are into cassava production.