Cassava down in 2018-2019

08 Feb 2019  248 | Business & Trade Fairs

The cassava yield in the provinces bordering Thailand saw a decrease in the 2018-2019 season, with a slight fluctuation in prices, said provincial agricultural authorities.

Battambang provincial Department of Commerce director Kim Hout said the decline in cultivation was due to a large number of farmers shifting to other crops, such as corn to adjust to market trends.

“Normally, farmers switch [crops according] to market prices. When the price of cassava is high, they grow cassava and when the price of red corn is high, they that,” he said, adding that because of the high price of corn last year, farmers allotted more of their land to grow corn, thus reducing cassava production.

Hout said about 20-30 per cent of farmers are currently allocating their land for long-term crops such as longan and mangoes.

Hout said about 80 per cent of Battambang province’s cassava is exported to Thailand, while another 20 per cent is sold to Vietnam by traders.

‘As yields fall’

For the 2018-2019 harvest season, Battambang province harvested more than two million tonnes of cassava, while in the 2017-2018 season nearly five million tonnes were harvested, according to the provincial Department of Domestic Trade’s data.

Provincial Department of Agriculture figures shows that during the season, the province had 113,498ha of cassava cultivation area.

Data shows that fresh cassava was sold at an average price of 270 riel ($0.067) per kg while dry cassava went for 650 riel, which is similar to 2017 prices. “As yields fall, the price slightly increases compared to last year,” Hout said.

Chhay Sophea, a local trader in Battambang province’s Phnom Proek district, who collects cassava from farmers in the region, said although this year’s cassava is less than last year, prices did not increase sharply.

“I buy cassava from farmers at a price that allows me to get some return from selling to traders in Thailand,” she said.

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