ASEAN Centre for Cassava Research and Development

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Malaysia is a relatively minor cassava producer in ASEAN. From a peak of 400,000 tons in 1991, it was down to less than 50,000 tons in 2011, grown on just under 3,000 hectares. Johore accounts for about 83% of production. The agricultural focus for Malaysia is plantation-based (due mainly to the relatively small population) and concentrates mainly on oil palm and rubber. Nonetheless, cassava seems to be a popular traditional food source for Muslim communities (see Mindanao in the Philippines) so it can be expected that Malaysia will always have some domestic consumption. At one time MARDI was active in cassava development, however this program has been discontinued.

One interesting research project is being conducted by the University of Nottingham in Malaysia Crops for the Future Research Centre. The Malaysian Government recently concluded a macro-economic review of the Cassava Starch Industry and has commissioned UNM to find alternative sources of starch. This is due to the traditional sources of supply for cassava starch, (Thailand, Vietnam and Indonesia) diverting sales to meet the huge demands from China. Research is being conducted on starch from sago palm.

Area under cultivation, yield and production have all declined in Malaysia. This may be due to the focus on palm oil as a source of transport fuel and sago and nipa as sources of starch.