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Publication Detail
ISPPS WP 2003-06: Root Crop Starch and the Policy Environment: Gaps and Binders

The paper examines policies that have influenced cassava and sweet potato starch production in the Philippines and formulate policy recommendations for action/advocacy or further research. The major policies examined are trade, credit, infrastructure, research and development. Root crop starch could have a huge potential economic and social contribution considering its various uses, e.g., a basic ingredient, binder, filler, adhesive, stiffener, thickener in food processing and other manufacturing industries. There were already initiatives to develop cassava and sweet potato starch industry in the Philippines but apparently, there were problems or constraints that led to inefficiency or closure of starch mills. One is the direct or indirect effect of government policies on the whole spectrum of the root crop sector, from the farm level to post-production system, the market stream, as well as the research and development system. One of the reasons for the milling inefficiency is the inadequate supply of fresh roots due to lack of production incentives to root crop growers, e.g., higher economic returns. In spite of the demand for root crops, extension services, financial facilities, and marketing infrastructure to encourage potential cassava growers are inadequate. Moreover, there is no strong lobbying for root crops, e.g., weak representation of formal root crop producers to complement the efforts of active millers. The government has a pivotal role in specifically targeting the root crop sector in its policy actions. Foremost, it has to conduct a wider-based consultation with various stakeholders for a better-guided decision making. Policy actions could also consider the following directions: 1) establishment of key production areas specifically for these root crops and in areas where the starch mills are situated; 2) promotion and distribution of appropriate varieties with high yield and high starch contents; 3) provision of infrastructure (e.g., roads, storage facilities) in key production areas to reduce production and marketing cost of both farmers and processors; 4) provision of better institutional coordination, e.g. among farmers/cooperatives, millers, lending entities, local government units; and 5) provision of continuous research support that will reduce processing cost and improve market potential.

UPLB Center for Strategic Planning and Policy Studies
Authors Keywords
Elazegui, Dulce D.; Calderon, Reynan P.; policy and regulatory environment; agricultural production;
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Published in 2003 and available in the ISPPS Library or NO PDF AVAILABLE Downloaded 0 times since November 25, 2011
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