Illustrative image (Source: internet)

Bangkok (VNA) – The Commerce Ministry of Thailand plans to take measures to prevent cassava prices from falling sharply during the harvest season this year, when millions of tonnes of cassava are expected to flood the market.

Thai Commerce Minister Apiradi Tantraporn said most of the new measures are aimed at creating networks that bring growers closer to industrial end-users. She also predicted that the falling cassava price this year is likely to be less serious than previous years, she added.

The ministry expects an output of 30 million tonnes of cassava in the current 2017-18 crop, 7.6 percent less than the previous crop. Of the total, 28.5 tonnes are tapioca products.

It has encouraged tapioca makers to forge long-term purchasing agreements with ethanol producers to ensure raw material supplies.

The ministry has also set up a network of cassava growers, tapioca producers and feedstuff makers to create mutually supportive supply chains while setting aside an additional budget to finance local enterprises that will process cassava into alternative food products with higher value.

Thailand is the world’s biggest cassava producer and exporter. The country shipped abroad 10.6 million tonnes of tapioca products in 2016, down from 11.3 million tonnes in 2015.-VNA