Thailand’s tapioca output forecast to drop in 2020-2021 crop hinh anh 1Farmers plant cassava in Nakhon Ratchasima's Phimai district. (Photo:

Bangkok (VNA) - Thailand's overall tapioca production for the 2020-2021 crop would be below 20 million tonnes, compared with 20-22 million tonnes in the 2019-20 season, Boonchai Srichaiyongpanich, President of the Thai Tapioca Trade Association, has predicted.

Normally, the country's tapioca production stands at 28-30 million tonnes, with demand amounting to 40 million tonnes a year.

Tapioca business operators have called on the government to speed up tackling the cassava mosaic disease that has ravaged the farmers' produce since 2018.

The mosaic disease has spread to various key production bases in Thailand, such as Nakhon Ratchasima, Sa Kaeo, Buri Ram, Surin, Si Sa Ket, Prachin Buri and Chachoengsao.

Booonchai said without effective preventive measures and decisive enforcement, the disease now affects 11,200 ha in 18 provinces, with about 1.28 million ha in 50 provinces still to be surveyed concerning the disease's impact.

According to Boonchai, the government should establish a specific centre to handle tapioca disease in the same way the Centre for COVID-19 Situation Administration handles the deadly virus crisis.

Last year, Thailand saw tapioca product exports drop both in value and volume, with the value down by 16.4 percent to 2.6 billion USD and volume down 20.4 percent to 6.6 million tonnes.

The association expects exports to drop below 2.4 million tonnes this year from 2.4 million tonnes, 3 million, 4 million and 6 million the previous four years, respectively./.