Ginger, Zingiber officinale Rosc is one of the most important and widely used spices which has spread to the tropical and subtropical region of the world. Ginger is highly cherished and demanded because it contains important components which include essential oil, fixed oil, pungent compounds, resins, starch, protein, and minerals. It is considered an Aromatic Plant due to the presence of Essential oil and Oleoresin. As a result, ginger has been extensively used in Traditional medicines, Pharmaceuticals, Cosmetics, Perfumery, Confectioneries and Food processing industries to manufacture important products which include Dessert, Condiments, Ginger Bread Cookies, Biscuits, Ginger Bread, Cakes, Candies, Ice cream, Puddings, Green Detox Drink, Pickles, Perfume, Ginger Tea, Ginger Coffee, Ginger Syrup, Ginger Ale, Ginger Beer, Ginger wine and other soft drinks.
What is it used for in your locality?
Essential oil and oleoresin obtained by Steam Distillation and Solvent Extraction respectively remain one of the most expensive ginger derived products. African ginger is however considered the best for production essential oils and oleoresins. On the international market, a tonne of ginger is sold between 6,000 to 7,000 dollars. In Nigeria, the export free-on-board price stands at $2,500-3,500 per metric tonne.
Overtime, ginger has offered many business opportunities along its value chain for agropreneurs, farmers, entrepreneurs, investors and exporters. To tap into ginger goldmine, you can consider Ginger farming, Fresh and dried ginger production, Powdered ginger production, Ginger paste production, Semi-processed ginger production, Crystallized Ginger Select Dice/Ginger lolly production, Ginger oil production, Ginger marketing and export.
Nigeria is the third largest exporter of ginger in the world after China and India. Nigeria ginger is well known and highly demanded. A large percentage of the ginger is exported to China, United Kingdom, Germany, Spain, Netherlands, France, United States of America, Russia, Saudi Arabia Chad, Sudan and Ghana, among others.
Invariably, ginger, ‘The Great Medicine’ has been used in ancient medicine along with other herbs for the cure of elephantiasis, gout, extenuating the juices and purifying the skin from all spots arising from scorbutic acidities. It is also useful in addressing anorexia, dyspepsia, inflammation, dropsy, otalgia, cephalgia, asthma, cough, colic, diarrhoea, flatulence, nausea, migraine, and vomiting.
What an awesome plant?
Ginger has been successfully and commercially grown in Nigeria, Fiji, India, China, Jamaica, Taiwan, Sierra Leone, Mauritius, Indonesia, Brazil, Costa Rica, Ghana, Japan, Malaysia, Bangladesh, Philippines, Sri Lanka, Solomon Islands, Thailand, Trinidad and Tobago, Uganda, Hawaii, Guatemala, and many Pacific Ocean islands.
Interestingly, each language has common names for ginger and some of the common names are Ata Ile (Yoruba), Chitta (Hausa), Zanjabil (Arabic), Ada (Bengali), Mangaratia (Brazilian), Gin (Burmese), Jeung (Chinese), Ingefær (Danish), Gember (Dutch), Gingembre (French), Ingwer (German), Zangvil (Hebrew), Aliah (Indonesian), Zenzero (Italian), Shouga (Japanese), Shangabir (Persian), Imbir (Polish), Gengibre (Portuguese), Ghimbir (Romanian), Imbir (Russian), Jengibre (Spanish), Tangawizi (Swwahili), Ingee (Tamil), Kinkh (Thai), Zencefil (Thai), Gung (Vietnamese), etc.
What is it called in your language?
Agronomically, ginger does well in drained soils (sandy loam) of at least 30cm depth in a warm and humid climate. As a rain-fed crop, it is best planted around April or after receipt of soaking rains. Ginger can also be planted under irrigated condition. It is propagated by rhizomes of 6-8 months old with planting rate ranging from 900–1500kg/ha. It is a good practice to treat the rhizomes with Trichoderma and Pseudomonas before planting. Trichoderma and Pseudomonas treatment is very useful in preventing rhizome rot diseases. The seed rhizome weight can range from 15-50g with one healthy bud. Ginger should be planted on a loosed (ploughed & harrowed) flat soil or raised flat beds at a close spacing of 20-25cm by 20-25cm. Under Integrated Plant Nutrient Management (IPNM), soil amendment using manure at 25t/ha and NPK fertilizer at 200-400kg/ha is necessary to get higher yield. Organic ginger production is restricted to the use of organic amendments. Under Integrated Pest Management (IPM), the use of Biofertilizers or Liquid fertilizer, Biocontrol agents and Neem Cake has been found to control diseases effectively and increase the yield of ginger.
Ginger is harvested base on end-use. Baby gingers, i.e. gingers intended for vegetable use or fresh consumption are harvested at 5th months, gingers intended for making ginger preserves and candy are harvested between 5-7th months, gingers intended to be dried are harvested between 8-9th months equally, gingers intended for essential oil and Oleoresin production are harvested at 8-9th months while gingers intended for seed rhizomes production may further be delayed. Yield of ginger ranges from 10-30t/ha.
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