The Assin South district during the year 2018/2019, produced 195,037 metric tonnes of cassava, planted on a total of 5,822 hectors of land with an average yield of 33.50.
Mr John Kumah Tawiah the Assin South District Director of Agric made this known in an interview with the Ghana News at Assin Nsuaem.
Cassava, a starchy root crop, could be processed into varieties of food products like gari, cassava dough, cassava flour, fufu, and many more and is widely patronized by Ghanaians.
Due to the abundance of the root crop in the area, farmers in the district have formed Farmer Based Organization (FBOs) and had purchased a gari processing plant to produce gari on a large scale for both the local market and export.
The district produces 31, 249.12 metric tones of gari annually by the 13 active FBO Gari processing groups with 0.5 of the figure, exported.
He said the Agric Office continued to educate farmers on better and modernised methods of farming to boost food production, food security while promoting agriculture as an engine of economic growth to sustain livelihoods.
In addition, farmers have also been taken through the handling of pests and disease control of cassava and other crops, for them to overcome the situation when the need arose.
“The cassava boom in the district, stems from the proper use and handling of fertilizers, which is monitored to avoid low produce” he stated.
He cautioned farmers to use organic agro chemicals since it kills pests instantly and their yields were safe for consumption.
“The inorganic agrochemicals are less expensive to use but farmers have to wait for two more weeks after harvesting, before they could sell produce, and failure to comply, could lead to consumers, having stomach upsets and food poisoning”, Mr Tawiah revealed.
In view of this, he appealed to the government to purchase test kits for Agric Officers to use to ascertain whether a food commodity was safe for consumption before, marketing.
On challenges, he mentioned low patronage, inability to store produce for a longer period, and low prices during glot seasons as some of the difficulties farmers encountered in the district.
For farmers to be self-sufficient, Mr Tawiah advocated food items to be weighed and scaled to determine good market prices.