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Sunday, February 7, 2010

CASH CROP : Root & Tubers

Cassava popular grown in Johor Bahru and Kota Tinggi District in Johor.

EDIBLE Roots and Tubers crop are considered cash crop in Malaysia by Department of Agriculture. Those include Cassava, Yam, Sweet Potato and some other tubers. Among all the most popular root /tuber crop were cassava that grown mostly for processing activity. Writers involves to deliver extension services and teaching of tubers package technology for selected group farmers in Johor.
Cassava or Tapioca was grown mostly in Johore, Perak and Pahang states in Peninsular Malaysia and some in Sabah and Sarawak. Total hectares planted in 2009 recorded about 3,540 hectare. Most cassava grown by small farmers and harvested after 9 -12 months after planting and sold as raw material to Agrobase Industry Processors for making Kerepek and other processed product. There was only 2 factory in Johore which process tapioca to starch and other tapioca end-product. Not many farmers willing to grow cassava due to low farm income compare to oil palm, rubber and other food crop (vegetables). Some factory owner and Agrobase Industry Processor tied with contract farming method of growing cassava to ensure constant fresh tapioca supply. Few variety grown in Malaysia is Sri Pontian, Blag Twig, Yellow Twig and Pulut.

Yam (KELADI in Malays) is another tubers that was important in Malaysia previously grown by farmers mostly on peat soils. Few variety popular among farmers in Johor was Keladi Minyak, Keladi Mawar and Keladi Cina which consumed as fresh for fried yam or raw material for Kerepek Keladi. Fried Yam sold as traditional serving afternoon. Some yam was processed for ice cream (Branded such as WALLS, KING's and others). Yam was grown as commercial commodity in Johore, Selangor, Sarawak and Sabah respectively. Currently lack of planting material supply was the most issues in growing yam. Government provide Agriculture Extension Services to yam farmers at Johore and some projects assistance (such as seedling, land preparation and Inputs) for those who started new project with an amount of RM 2,000.00 per hectare. It's include assistance inputs (Seedling, Fertilizers, Chemicals) and land preparation or other basic farm infrastructures. Nowadays, not many farmers grows yam as large commercial farms.

Sweet Potato (KELEDEK in Malay) or scientifically known as Impomea battas also considered importance tubers crop. There is no specific area identified as sweet potato farming area. Mostly was grown as inter crop under newly oil palm and rubber rehabilitation area. Few area popular with sweet potato production was at Tangkak in Johor, Bidor in Perak and Kelantan. Sweet potato normally consumed as Fresh or Fried (Goreng Keledek) or processed for traditional snacks (Cakar Ayam, Kerepek etc).

BEST CONSUMED .......IF IT IS FREE............


M Anem
DOA Muar

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