In Tamilnadu, this crop is being cultivated over an area of about 82000 hectares providing employment for thousands of workers over fields and in 800 processing units. In Salem District alone, 34000 hectares of land is under tapioca cultivation and there are 650 units engaged in tapioca processing.



The District offers good raw material, cheap labour and good sunshine for a longer period of the day throughout the year; helping manufacturers to produce more tapioca finished products eg. sago and starch and therefore the District of Salem is known as the land of Sago, even in the international forums. In and around Salem the yield of tapioca is about 25-30 t/ha, highest in the World. National average is 19 t/ha and World average production stands at 10 t/ha.



Prior to the formation of the Sagoserve, the manufacturers of starch and sago in this district faced a lot of problems pertaining to credit and marketing of tapioca products. Merchants used to offer low prices for their goods and middlemen exploited this situation in the absence of organized marketing and warehousing facilities. To get over these problems the sago/starch manufacturers formed "Salem Starch and Sago Manufacturers' Service Industrial Co-operative Society Ltd." Salem in 1981 under the Tamil Nadu Co-operative Society Act 1961. It was Registered on 21.07.1981 and commenced its business on 27.02.1982. This society, popularly known as "Sagoserve" throughout the world, is functioning under the administrative control of the Director of Industries and Commerce, Govt. of Tamilnadu.

The Chief Executive Authority of the Society is the Managing Director guided by the policy making body namely the Board of Directors elected by the members from amongst themselves. The Managing Director is assisted by 3 Functional Managers namely Manager(Administration), Manager (Trade) & Manager (Accounts) with about 116 committed staff of the Society.

After the emergence of Sagoserve, on the horizon of tapioca industry, the bargaining power of manufacturers has substantially increased in the field of marketing and the menace of middlemen in this trade has been completely overcome. Due to successive efforts of the society, sago/starch units have now become the backbone of Salem District's Rural Economy.