…With 14% global market share, earning $1m annually, country to grow export to 6% y/y
…But global ginger processing market to grow at a CAGR of 13.40%
Ben Eguzozie, in Port Harcourt
Nigeria, though accounting for 14 per cent of global market share of ginger production, and earning just $1 million from export, the country says it is set to raise the stake to 6 per cent year-on-year to increase its export earnings.
However, this is only 0.02 per cent amount when compared with the global ginger market worth $3.4 billion in 2020, and set to reach $4.8 billion by 2027, according to global ginger industry report. Economic experts say the earnings figure by Nigeria appears grossly insignificant at the global scale.
Ginger is a type of spice that belongs to the plant family of Zingiberaceae. It is an excellent source of dietary fibre, vitamin E (alpha-tocopherol), vitamin B6, iron, magnesium, manganese, potassium and selenium. It is aromatic and pungent. It is also used in the treatment of a number of skin disorders in ayurvedic medicines.
At the time being, Nigeria’s ginger export is in three principal primary products: fresh ginger, preserved ginger and dried ginger, as well as confectionery ginger products such as ginger oils and oleoresin oils.
A metric ton of dried ginger from Nigeria sells for between $2,250 and $2,600.
The Nigerian ginger is among the best in the world and highly valued in the pharmaceutical and confectionery industry. The country is also among the world’s largest producers of ginger.
At the time being, the country produces only 523 metric tons of ginger annually, which accounts for 14 per cent share of the total global production, according to Karima Babangida, director of agriculture at the federal ministry of agriculture and rural development (FMARD).
The world’s biggest ginger producers are: China, India, Nepal, Thailand, Nigeria, Indonesia, others.
According to IMARC Group, global ginger processing market is expected to grow at a cumulative annual growth rate (CAGR) of 13.40 per cent during 2021 – 2026.
“The market for ginger is massive. Ginger is one of the important crops for export, food and nutrition security in Nigeria. The Nigerian ginger is one of the best in the world.
“About 90 per cent of our production is exported, and over $1 million is generated as foreign exchange earnings annually. This is projected to keep growing at 6 per cent annually,” the FMARD director said.
According to her, FMARD has discovered the need to promote ginger production, a crop which has potentials to generate huge foreign exchange earnings for the country through export. “The importance of ginger as both food and source of foreign exchange earnings was unprecedented,” she said.
Babangida, while speaking in Umudike, Abia State, at a capacity building workshop on “Good Agricultural Practices (GAP) for Ginger farmers” drawn from the South-East and South-South zones, said, the global ginger market was quite huge, but yet untapped by Nigeria.
The workshop at the National Root Crops Research Institute (NRCRI), Umudike, was meant to get ginger farmers in the two geopolitical zones to increase their production of the crop, said to have record foreign exchange potential, to reap huge at the global level.
She said, the overall policy objectives of the ginger production programme were to increase the productivity and to promote small, medium and large-scale (SME) 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, processed and packaged spices used as a commodity of choice in disaster relief in international markets.
Babangida, who was represented by Victoria Agama, the desk officer, ginger value-chain, said that federal government was committed to the promotion of the agricultural sector by unleashing its potentials to drive food and nutrition security, economic growth and job creation.
The FMARD director of agriculture informed that the ministry was ensuring accelerated ginger production and value addition towards self-sufficiency, to meet industrial requirements, as well as boost farmers’ income and generate employment in the country.
She said the ministry was working to achieve promotion of ginger in which Nigeria has comparative advantage in production. “The purpose of this workshop is to train farmers to use their resources efficiently, improve their production and processing skills towards improving food security,” she said.
Meanwhile, some of the ginger farmers: Orji Nnabuihe Emeka; Mary Chika and Ndubuisi Onyekwere applauded the federal government for the workshop, but passionately appealed that they need funds and other incentives to encourage them to raise their production, as the cost of farming in the South-East was particularly higher than in the North.