From Dan Maduagwu,
The Federal Government has harped on the need to continually develop and promote ginger production to achieve its potentials as a crop that generates foreign exchange earnings for the country.
In a keynote address delivered at the capacity building workshop on Good Agricultural Practices, GAP for Ginger farmers drawn from the Southeast/South-south zone at National Root Crop Research Institute, Umudike, Abia state, the Director of Agriculture, Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, FMARD Mrs. Karima Babangida said the importance of ginger as both food and source of foreign exchange earnings is unprecedented.
According to her, the overall policy objectives of the ginger production programme is to increase the productivity and to promote small, medium and large scale commercial production of the crop, using improved high yielding varieties and to promote value addition of ginger raw material for the Industrial food markets, pharmaceutical, confectionery, well processed and packaged spice are used as a commodity of choice in disaster relief in International markets.
The FMARD Director of Agriculture represented by the desk officer, ginger value chain, Mrs. Victoria Agama said the Federal Government is committed to the promotion of the agricultural sector by unleashing its potentials to drive food and nutrition security, economic growth and job creation.
She revealed that Nigeria gingers entered the International market in its three primary products which include: fresh ginger, preserved ginger and dried ginger, as well as confectionery ginger products such as oils and oleoresin oils.
Her words, “The market for ginger is massive. Ginger is one of the important crops for export, food and nutrition security in Nigeria. Nigeria ginger is one of the best in the world and highly valued in the pharmaceutical and confectionery Industry. Nigeria is among the world largest producers of ginger, producing almost 523 metric ton annually, which accounts for 14 percent share of the total global production. About 90 percent of our production is exported and over a million dollar is generated as foreign exchange earnings annually. This is projected to keep growing at 6percent annually”.
Earlier in his welcome address, the Abia State FMARD Director, Engr. Victor Ihediwa pointed out that the ministry is persistently working towards achieving food and nutrition security through its various activities by using a combination of policies and appropriate agricultural technologies that will lead to job and wealth creation as well as improved living standards.