Viet Nam News 09-02-2009
CASSAVANEWS. Ho Chi Minh city - Using cassava as a raw material for making animal feed can help cassava producers and processors cope better with the ongoing economic slowdown, experts say.
The cassava industry this year has shown no sign of recovery because the global recession continues to adversely impact the sale of cassava products, they note.
Cassava prices have sharply fallen to the current level of about VND400 (US$0.02) per kg, one third of last year, while the cultivation area for the root has increased dramatically in recent years, making Viet Nam a leading producer in Asia.
The Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development as well as land and environment management agencies say cassava plantation areas have increased sharply in central coastal and highland provinces.
The Viet Nam Animal Feed Association says that using it as animal feed will not only help farmers sell cassava at higher prices, but will also help the animal husbandry sector deal with a shortage of raw material for animal feed.
Viet Nam had to import soybean and corn meal extract worth $1.62 billion in the first 11months of last year, a year-on-year increase of 56.4 per cent.
The agriculture ministry has asked the local administrations to help cassava farmers out of the difficult situation with prices subsidies and rescheduled loans. — VNS