Ginger farming is a very profitable agribusiness, it was once grown mainly for spices and medicinal values but now mostly cultivated for economic values. Ginger is native to South-eastern Asia, in countries like China, Indonesia, Jamaica, etc. Kaduna State is the major producers of ginger in Nigeria, other States are; Niger, Nassarawa, Benue etc.
Ginger is sourced for its aromatic pungent and hot taste. And can be eaten fresh, dried, powdered, oil or as juice. It is used in dieting and for spicing food. Ginger is used in the production of alcohol and cosmetics. And can be traded as raw ginger, ginger powder, ginger flakes etc. A mature ginger rhizome is fibrous with a striated texture. The outer skin is brown in colour while the inner flesh is white, yellow or reddish in colour depending on the variety.
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The process of benefiting from ginger starts from planting to harvesting but priced more when value is added to it. In October 2015 during ginger season the price of dried ginger was #350,000 and kept on increasing and got to #650,000 in April of 2016. Fresh ginger is sold at a very cheap price than dried ginger. The fresh one is sold for #200,000k a ton while dry split ginger goes for #650,000. But you can even proceed further to process them into powder seal and sale them for more profit just like Ginseng herbal tea.
GINGER FARMING TECHNIQUE
Ginger can be grown in a warm and humid weather but cannot be planted anywhere without you doing soil test. Southern Kaduna soil is very much acceptable to this crop, it is the major revenue for the State and they refer to ginger farming as alert. Foreign buyers prefer ginger produced from Kaduna because to them it is the best in terms of quality. If you want to plant it in your state you have to conduct a proper soil test. To know what the soil is lacking and what can be added. I wrote a post on Greenfield Fertilizer Company. This company will test your soil then recommend the kind of fertilizer to apply so as to succeed in ginger farming both in Nigeria and Africa as a whole.
In some places like the South east you will see ginger becoming very big without yellow colour when peeled, not pepperish like the ones from the North. This maybe due to soil differences or allowing the seeds to sprout before planting. Ginger requires moderate moisture during early planting until the rhizomes sprout then you start irrigating them heavily.
In this post a step by step guide has been provided using new techniques to achieve bountiful ginger harvest.
Clear the land with tractor to loosen it for water and nutrient penetration for a large expanse of land. But whereby the land is loosed you can use manual all through and also if the land is small. Although you can plant ginger on a levelled soil you can also raise bed if you so desire. The bed should be 15cm in height and 1m in width. Spacing should be 50cm between each bed. It is grown on acidic soil of 5.5-6.5 PH with a temperature between 30-35°C.
Ginger is cultivated vegetatively from its rhizome. Plant local rhizomes that are diseased free and of a high yielding variety but organically grown rhizome is preferable. The rhizomes should not be soaked in any chemical before planting rather apply treated organic manure to it while planting. Cut the rhizomes into small pieces (sett), with each rhizome weighing between 20-30g or 3cm in length,. It should have at least one node in each, plant them in rows 25cm apart and 25cm within rows. Ginger is planted in shallow pit on top of ridges not by the side 24-30cm or 6 inches apart (spacing from each plant).
Sow in a hole 8cm deep with the bud upward in the soil. It will germinate within 10-20 days. 1 hectare requires 6 tonnes of fresh ginger which is 100 bags whole ginger but less when in pieces. A bag of seed cost #14,000-#16,000. Ginger can be planted organically in containers/bags under partial shade. But can be planted commercially in an open field.
Mulching is very important in conserving soil moisture and controlling weeds in ginger farming. Mulch the farm immediately after planting and after weeding.
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Weed should not be allowed in the farm as it can breed pest and disease that can destroy ginger seedlings. It can also affect the performance of ginger growth. Weeding can be done thrice in ginger farming except were necessary 4 times especially for those leaving them in the soil for more than a year.
Apart from using manual, you can also control weed by using herbicides. Spray cutlass or double force immediately after planting. This can suppress their growth until after 6 weeks. The next time to spray is when weeds are much noticeable. Use diuron to avoid killing ginger seedlings because it is mild. You can combine it with dragon force or use Diutex. Application of chemical will have immediate reaction from the ginger. By making the plant yellowish in colour but recovers quick within 7-10 days as far as the rain is still falling.
Organic ginger farming is very much encouraged as ginger can do well with treated dung such as cow, goat, pig, dung etc. You can also use NPK 15:15:15 it should be applied twice during ginger farming. The first time 20 days after planting at the rate of 4 bags for a hectare. Second application should be 40 days after the first application at the rate of 2 bags for a hectare. Also during second application urea should be added to the farm.
During raining season irrigation may not be necessary except there is draught or shortage of rain. But for dry season ginger farming, irrigation is important. You can use drip irrigation.
DISEASE/PESTS CONTROL IN GINGER FARMING
Ginger plant are highly susceptible to shoot borer (pest) and they usually show up around July to October. Cut the shoot open, hand-pick the caterpillar then destroy them. You can be spraying neem oil every two weeks. Practice crop rotation.
Rhizome rot is a common disease in ginger farming. To prevent them avoid sowing ginger in water log areas, use healthy seeds, remove affected crops and destroy them.
Ginger matures for harvest between 7-9 months depending on the variety. When they are fully matured the leaves will turn yellow with the stems becoming dry. You can start harvesting from 7 month but the more ginger stays in the soil before harvesting the more quantity you get. It is cultivated once a year but can be harvested more than once. Ginger can be harvested with hoe, spade or hand fork. Lift up the rhizome with the instrument you are using and clean the ginger by removing the soil that came out with it and roots. Select disease and pest free rhizome immediately after harvest. Store them in pits under stable for next planting. Sundry the rest for value.
GINGER FARMING YIELD
100 bags of ginger for a hectare will yield 500 bags. The yield of dry ginger is between 15-25kg of the fresh depending on the agronomic practices and environment. 6-10 tonnes is achieved in an acre.
PROFITABILITY IN GINGER FARMING
Assuming you spent #800,000 to cultivate a hectare of ginger farm. And you harvested 400 bags at the end of the farming.
What if you were able to harvest 500 bags without any losses, not to talk of adding value which means additional money. People! ginger farming is indeed alert, start getting yours today.
Split dried ginger is costlier than fresh but whether they are sold fresh or dried there is market for it. Buyers are always on ground to buy some go as far as buying the ginger while still in the farm. Sale to market women and men, supply to cosmetics and brewery industries that need them. Locate foreign buyers and keep supplying to them. You can sundry them then take them to local women to cut, process and bag them for you.
Store them in a ware house and source for direct buyers. Advertise your product online so dealers can locate you.
HEALTH BENEFITS OF GINGER
Ginger is known to be the healthiest herb ever known. It has wonderful properties that treats different ailments.
- Fights cancer: Ginger can get rid of cancerous cells in the body.
- Reduces arthritic inflammation,it is a pain-killer and helps in reducing inflammation, pain of the joints and muscles.
- Good fo weight lost: Adding plenty of ginger to a meal will help in reducing body weight.
- It reduces bad breath: to achieve this; you have to be taking ginger drink quite often or you add it to your meal every time.
- Ginger contains magnesium, potassium, manganese and copper which is good for cardiovascular health.
- It helps in killing germs because of its anti-inflammatory and anti-bacterial properties.
- Ginger helps in controlling diabetes by lowering blood sugar level. You can do this by putting one tablespoon of ginger powder inside a glass of water every morning to drink.
- For menstrual cramp relief, ginger helps in reducing menstrual pain.
- For beer production in brewery companies
- Used in food industries for spicing
- For landscaping
- And in cosmetic industries for soap making
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