Lack of processing plants challenge to ginger production — Association president
The greatest challenge to ginger production in Nigeria is the lack of processing plants to make the product meet international standards, Florence Edwards, the President of Ginger Growers and Marketers Association, has said.
Edwards made the fact known interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Abuja on Thursday.
She said that it was regrettable that the only processing plant in Kaduna State was not functional.
Edwards described ginger as the crude oil of crops and pointed out that it could be used in the production of drinks, medicine and spices.
She said that the Nigerian ginger was the spiciest type in the world and that the country was the third largest ginger producing nation in the world after India and China.
“We are aspiring to be number one but until we put our processing plant in order we will not get to be number one in the world.
“We need to have processing plants to be able to dry ginger rather than spreading it by the roadside, which is not healthy.
“When ginger is dried by the roadside, lots of dust and dirt get into it which makes its quality fall below international standards,’’ she said.
The president said ginger could be cultivated anywhere in the country unlike the popular belief that it could only grow in the north.
She disclosed that the association was carrying out demonstration farming of ginger in all states in the south of the country to create awareness that it could grow in all parts of Nigeria.
Edwards said that the association had planted ginger in Okada, Edo, adding that the production was great.
“We are trying to encourage ginger farmers to go into commercial farming not just farming for subsistence purposes,’’ she said.
Apart from encouraging ginger farming, the association has also put in place strategies to create awareness on the benefits of ginger, including its use in medicine and food, Edwards said.
She said ginger could be used to relieve digestive problems, such as nausea, loss of appetite, motion sickness and pain.
Edwards said ginger root or underground stem could be consumed fresh, processed in powder form, dried or prepared as a spice in oil or juice form.
“Ginger can be used to maintain normal blood, combat morning sickness, reduce pain and inflammation and can be used for ovarian cancer treatment.
“Its other uses are strengthening immunity, fighting common respiratory problems, remedying motion sickness, improving absorption, cold and flu prevention and combating stomach discomfort,’’ she stressed.
Edwards said the association would need funds to encourage youths to farm ginger because it hoped to provide them seeds, fertiliser and farming tools.
She said that Nigerian Export Promotion Council had done a lot for the association, especially on improving ginger exportation.
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