In the 1960s, Agriculture was the mainstay of the Nigerian economy. However, the discovery of crude oil led to a shift in the nation’s exports, causing a dwindling effect on the agricultural sector.
Today, the need for economic diversification has returned focus to agricultural products such as ginger.
Nigeria is the largest producer of ginger in Africa and the 4th largest producer in the world. Ginger farming in Nigeria takes place mostly in Gombe, Bauchi, Benue, Nassarawa, and Kaduna, with Kaduna being the highest producer of the crop. Calculating the cost and return analysis of ginger production in Nigeria is dependent on whether it is cultivated for local sales or for exportation.
Ginger for local sales.
Ginger is one of the hardest crops to grow. For effective ginger cultivation, factors such as soil type, temperature, PH level, fertilization, irrigation, storage, and maintenance can damage crop outcome.
Upon cultivation, ginger can be sold as ginger roots, powdered ginger, dried ginger, and Oleoresins. Ginger serves as a spice for meat, fish, vegetables, soups, sauces, chautney, dressings, as well as dairy products, baked foods, confectionery, snacks, and beverages. Ginger also serves industrial purposes such as beer making, ale making, or for pharmaceutical purposes.
The planting season for ginger starts around March/April with expected harvests in October/November. It is advisable to plant ginger during the rainy season because dry season incurs more cost for irrigation purposes.
The average ginger yield per hectare in Nigeria is between 15- 25 tonnes per hectare. Upon harvesting, a ton of fresh ginger can be sold for about N80,000 – N250,000 depending on area and demand. A ton of dried ginger goes even higher and can be sold for as much as N850,000.
To market their produce, ginger farmers can establish a business relationship with processors like market men and women, hotels, restaurants, cosmetics, breweries, and pharmaceutical industries.Ginger farming for local sales is a feasible venture and with proper land preparation, labor, and equipment, the outcome could be very profitable.
Ginger for Export
Consumption of ginger is increasing worldwide and a significant growth is expected in the global and European market by 2020. A ton of ginger in the international market goes for about $3,500 (over a million naira). Mr. Adukwa, secretary of the Ginger Farmers Association in Kagarko Local Government Area of Kaduna stated in an interview with Daily Trust that a bag of ginger sold for about 7,000 naira in the local market but as much as 55,000 in the international market.
The ginger export market is thriving as confectionary companies are purchasing ginger for their biscuits, drinks, sweets, and cakes, and oil extracted is also used for drugs and perfumes.
Selling ginger in the international market may be more profitable but the process is far more complex than selling locally.
Some of the factors affecting ginger export include:
- Export planning.
- Registration of export business.
- Contact Sourcing.
- Contract negotiation.
- Send out product sourcing
- Send out documentation.
- Haulage and warehousing.
- Have the necessary documents (shipping documents, bill of lading, certificate of origin, import documents).
- Transferring ginger to the warehouse.
- Product revision.
- Shipment/cargo sending.
- Post trade documentation.
Despite its huge potential, there are some factors that can diminish ginger export. For instance, competing in the international market with manually produced gingers against mechanically made ginger.
Nevertheless, ginger farming in Nigeria is profitable if you practice the right agronomy.