Though ginger is a common agricultural produce found in almost every household in Nigeria, most people don’t know that it can eventually become a pot of gold. The ginger root is highly medicinal, which makes it a commodity enjoying significantly high demand.
The root is used as raw material in manufacturing processes of health products, drinks and the bakery industry. Ginger has three niches, which when packaged have different market values and potentials. They are: fresh whole ginger root, dried ginger and powdered ginger.
Due to the indomitable volume that China exports since most of its farms are mechanized, the situation in the ginger market is vastly influenced by it. Nevertheless, Nigerian ginger, with its high level of oleoresins, has importers coming for it from different countries like Italy with its big fashion brand, Armani, using it as one of the ingredients for its perfume, Armani Sport Code.
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Prospects exist for newcomers who want to start a ginger export business. With as little as N50,000 an individual can start ginger farming. Because of the various uses of ginger, its demand in the international market will continue to rise.
Ginger is cultivated mostly in the northern part of Nigeria with Kaduna having 50% of the production. It is available throughout the seasons.
After planting, the ginger plant will be fully grown within eight to 10 months, since it has no periderm and respires quickly. Concentration on storage and how you intend to export – whether dry or wet – is paramount so as not to degrade the commodity’s quality. Ginger is stored for four to six weeks until it is suitable for export.
There are different weather conditions from the northern ginger growing region to the southern growing conditions, and storing procedures are adopted accordingly.
Ginger is mostly planted during the rainy season, because it needs a lot of water.
To export ginger, one needs to create an affiliation with registered importers. The ginger needs to be cleaned and packaged for export according to the rules and regulations of the country intended and a signed export contract.
Ginger export from Nigeria is lucrative and easy to do. Nigeria is the largest exporter of dried split ginger. Other countries where ginger roots are grown and exported are India, China, Jamaica, Australia and Sierra Leone.