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December 9, 2019, 9:45 am

More cassava processing plants under construction

(11:29:12 AM 27/10/2014)
(Tinmoitruong.vn) - The Dak Lak provincial People’s Committee are seeking the government’s permission to build four more cassava starch processing plants, though there are four plants in the locality, which cause serious environment pollution.

More cassava processing plants under construction

 



The cassava growing area in the central province of Dak Lak been increasing rapidly in the last few years, from 24,000 hectares in 2009 to 31,000 hectares in 2011 and 32,000 hectares in 2014, which is expected to bring 1 million tons of fresh cassava this year.

Trinh Tien Bo, a senior official at the Dak Lak provincial Department of Agriculture and Rural Development, warned that the massive cassava farming would lead to serious consequences.

The deforestation of cassava cultivation fields can intensify the drought and deplete underground water sources, he said. When farmers rush to grow cassava, there will be fewer fields to grow sugarcane, thus spoiling the sugar refineries’ programming for material-growing areas.

Also, the farmers’ clearing of land to make room for growing cassava damages the ecosystem: the pastures are getting smaller, while the number of cows is decreasing because of a lack of food.

The Dak Lak provincial authorities’ decision to build four more starch-processing plants concerns company officials. A senior executive of the Dak Lak Food and Agriculture Materials Company said this cause serious material shortages.

The company needs 200,000-240,000 tons of cassava a year for its two starch processing plants with the capacity of 60,000 tons per annum. As the provincial material supply cannot satisfy the demand, the company has to buy materials from neighboring provinces of Phu Yen, Khanh Hoa, Lam Dong and Dak Nong.

He said that if the other four processing plants become operational, the province will need an additional 100,000 tons of materials every year, which means that Dak Lak will need to develop another 5,000 hectares of cassava growing area.

The “cassava processing plant movement” has been facing strong protest from the public.

The Tay Ninh provincial authorities in late March 2014 released a statement that the local authorities would not grant operation licenses to any more cassava processing plants in the locality in the immediate time.

Recently, the local authorities decided to stop the operation of 44 cassava and rubber processing plants in an effort to rescue Vam Co Dong River.

Nguyen Van Lang, chair of the Vietnam Cassava Association, noted that the existing cassava plants in the province still could not run at full capacity because of the lack of materials.

Therefore, it is necessary for provincial authorities to reconsider the capacity of operational plants before licensing others.

DDDN
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