This resource is exclusively for those in search of an effective guide for ginger farming. Ginger is a spice so much sought after by most food businesses. It is an addition that can change the total taste of food and beverages.
Ginger Farming is native to Asian continent but can you practice it in the comfort of your home? Let’s take a look!
My first experience of this root spice is in corn meal (pap, ogi, akamu) because my mum cannot make it without ginger and the taste is definitely divine! Ginger farming is practiced in many parts of the world and ginger is a must have spice in Asian delicacies.
Ginger as a spice is a very important commercial spice crop mostly grown for its excellent aromatic rhizomes and medical value.
This has made the market value of ginger to be high all year round with the peak during the cold months as everyone no matter the quantity wants to have a taste of this great medicinal spice.
There are several products out there that has a blend of ginger in them and having that as a unique selling point such as ginger candy, ginger tea, ginger oil, ginger biscuits, ginger beer, ginger squash and a host of other food condiments.
It can also be added as a flavouring agent in the preparation of delicacies due to the unique aroma it produces.
Origin Of Ginger Spice
Ginger is a flowering plant whose rhizome, ginger root or ginger is widely used as a spice and a folk medicine for cold and other health problems.
It is a herbaceous perennial crop that belongs to the family Zingiberaceae.
Ginger is believed to have originated from the Asian continent basically the eastern and southern part of the continent.
Ginger is one of the first spices to have been exported from Asia to Europe and was used by ancient Greeks and the Romans.
Ginger has found its way to all continents of the world and is widely accepted, used and consumed by people for various beverages, delicacies and even skin solutions.
The ginger can be used raw or dried and crushed into powder forms.
The ginger seed also called rhizome is essential in the production of ginger; the larger the rhizome, the faster the ginger growth.
There are various ways of treating the seed to be able to reproduce based on the environment and farming practices available in such regions.
In India, the rhizome is dipped into cow dung emulsion, smoking the seeds before storage or hot water treatments are all ways of treating the seed before planting.
Once the seeds are properly treated, they are planted by thoroughly digging the hole to loosen the soil with water channels made 60-80 ft apart for adequate irrigation.
Planting season is usually between March and June during the rainy season and mulching is done to conserve the moisture.
In the dry season, the crops must be wet to ensure maximum yield and quality crop; because it takes about 8- 10 months for the ginger to be ripe for harvest.
The end product of the ginger can also determine when it would be harvested: for use in soda, vegetables or candy, harvesting is done between 4 to 5 months of planting while for exporting, ginger oil and grinding into powder forms, harvesting is done eight to ten months.
The ginger leaves turn from green to yellow once they reach maturity.
For large scale ginger farming, there is need for a proper and good practice of farm management techniques for guaranteed bountiful yield.
You can also plant ginger in pots, containers and vertical system as they do not have fibrous root nor do they crawl.
Ginger Farming In Nigeria
India is the worlds biggest producer of ginger followed by China and Nigeria.
Cultivation of ginger in Nigeria is huge and lucrative with Nigeria being the third producer of ginger followed by Thailand and Indonesia.
Ginger thrives best in warm and humid regions; it can also grow well i tropical regions supported by irrigation.
It also favours dry weather during harvest for an excellent product.
The ideal pH is between 5.3 to 6.8 which is almost neutral soils for excellent growth.
The Nigerian climate favours the cultivation of ginger with areas like Kaduna, Nassarawa and Benue producing the bulk of the demand.
The loamy soil contains all essential nutrients for growth of ginger but other soils can allow the growth of ginger too.
Ginger plantation should be encouraged to practice crop rotation for maximum yield every time.
Planting Conditions of Ginger
Ginger should not be planted on the same farm year in year out without practicing crop rotation in other to replenish the lost nutrients.
Ginger can be planted as a mixed crop with crops such as coffee, coconut, oranges etc and also due to the fact that ginger thrive best in shades, they can be planted with castor, pigeon pea or banana for them to provide shade.
There are varieties in the species of ginger depending on the region they are peculiar to.
The China and Rio De Janeiro species are the most preferred in commercial ginger farming because of their high quality roots.
For dry ginger however, the Karakkal, Nadia are superb species; Varadha are a specie unique for green ginger.
The land on which ginger would be planted must be tilled and ploughed to loosen the soil. The beds should be 1m in width, 15cm in height with about 40- 45 cm between each bed.
The beds should be left opened to allow the sun’s heat dry off and kill pests and unwanted organisms.
The planting of ginger is usually done when the rain begins so as to meet the demand; this means there should be adequate water for the crop until about a month before harvest.
Mulching which is the use of plants to cover the beds in other to retain moisture is encouraged as well as a good irrigation system.
Pests That Affects Ginger Farming
The ginger crop has its own share of pests just like its widely accepted by humans.
Adequate monitoring and treatment should be done in other to avoid low quality products and low yield. Some of these pests are treated below.
Shoot Borer Pest In Ginger Farming
The shoot borer is a dreaded pest as it makes holes in the pseudostem resulting in the grass being thrown out of the holes affecting the central shoot, turns plants yellow and eventually withering.
Shoot borer can be controlled effectively with the use of about 0.1% Malathion spray once a month on a regular basis.
Leaf Roller Pest In Ginger Farming
The leaf roller is a type of caterpillar that feeds on the leaves by folding them. They can be controlled by spraying 0.05% of Dimethorate on the leaves for great results.
Rhizome Flies In Ginger Farming
The name definitely depicts their purpose: they feed on the rhizomes by making holes into the seed. They can be controlled with the spray of methyl parathion about 3 times starting from July.
Scales Pest In Ginger Farming
This refers to the pests that suck up the sap from the seed rhizome making them dry up. They are to be controlled by dipping the affected rhizomes into 0.05% of Dimethorate before planting.
Ginger farming is a lucrative business especially for people interested in the spice subsector of the food industry.
Food business owners can also cultivate their own ginger supply reducing cost and making sure of the quality of their product.
The market for ginger is all year round whether in the raw form or dried form. Ginger can be supplied to pharmaceutical companies, cosmetics companies as well as confectioners.