Ginger is derived from the Zingiber officinale rhizomes of the Roso plant. It originated in Southeastern Asia and is used mainly for dried and crystallised ginger spice.
The global Ginger production was estimated to be 2.8 million tons in 2018, with India taking the lead at 32% of the entire world’s output. China follows India while Nigeria comes third in global production.
Ginger’s popularity is currently increasing in West African countries, not only for fresh but also for the dried and powdered product. In many kitchens, ginger has won a permanent place, thus boosting the demand globally. A ton of ginger generates between $6,000 and $7,000 on the world market. That rate is at $3,500 in Nigeria.
Nigeria’s ginger exports account for 23 per cent of its GDP. Nigeria had an 11.5% share of global production in 2017, producing 349.9K tons of Ginger. Export growth increased significantly between 2009 and 2010 when the total value of exports increased nearly four times in a year. Economic policies have diversified, with the economy of Nigeria moving from oil exports to agricultural production and exports, a significant driver of the market.
The major challenge facing ginger farmers in Nigeria is the occasional insufficient amount of rainfall. This problem dramatically affects ginger yield. When farmers experience a pause in the rain, they resolve the situation in two ways. The first is by shifting to alternative crops such as sorghum or maize, and the second is by reducing the cultivation of ginger by half or one-third.
There is excellent potential for ginger to become Nigeria’s major export product. Compared to other plants that can produce 20 to 60% on yields in their optimal condition, ginger in Nigeria is provided primarily for the export market, making it more profitable in returns.
What Is Ginger?
Ginger is a tropical flowering plant, which originated in Southeastern Asia but is now widely available around the world. It is known as a member of the family Zingiberaceae, rendering it a close relative of turmeric.
What Is Ginger Production?
Ginger production refers to the processing ginger into finished products for other purposes. Ginger is available in three distinct forms: fresh (green) root ginger, brine or syrup preserved ginger, dried ginger spice or ground ginger spice. Ginger products are essential in the food processing industry. There are two crucial factors to consider when choosing processing ginger rhizomes: the ripening stage at harvest and the natural properties of the cultivated form.
Products made from ginger include gingerbread, ginger pops, ginger sticks, ginger wax, ginger candy, ginger tidbits, ginger powder, syrup, ginger oleoresins, ginger ale, etc. These can be used in a variety of foods and drinks.
Business Opportunities Associated With Ginger Processing In Nigeria
1). Food and Drink Industry:
Thanks to its distinct taste and health benefits processed ginger is used in the production of food items such as powder, pulp, sugar, oil and candy are commonly used in the food and drink industry. More so, ginger powder is readily employed as a flavouring agent for use in tomato ketchup, pickles, curry dishes, meat sausages and salad dressings.
2). Pharmaceutical Purposes:
Ginger juice is used in several medicines in the pharmaceuticals industry, and ginger oil is primarily included in cough relief tablets and syrups as well as for treating different skin disorders in the cosmetics industry. The ginger extract has shown beneficial anti-inflammatory effects. It has demonstrated improved immunity to gastric ulcer.
3). Local Industry Application:
Ginger powder is used in soaps and cosmetics as well as for fragrance. Ginger oil, which is the product obtained from a process of distillation by steam, is primarily used in the production of beer, confectionery and perfume flavouring.
Facts and Benefits of Ginger
- The addition of ginger to your diet can reduce the risk of type 2 diabetes and improve blood sugar levels.
- Due to its high antioxidant content, the ginger root is useful for battling cancer.
- Drinking ginger can keep you warm while helping your body sweat and eliminate common cold symptoms.
- Ginger may decrease cholesterol level.
- Ginger has been proven to reduce muscle pain
- There’s some evidence that ginger may directly enhance brain function.
- Ginger can relieve menstrual pain
- Ginger may be considered a supplement for rheumatoid arthritis and osteoarthritis
- Eating Ginger can eliminate indigestion by making the stomach clear quicker.
- Ginger helps to fight infections
It is also used as a digestive tonic
- India, China, Nigeria and Nepal are the top producers of ginger.
- In Nigeria, Borno, Benue, Nasarawa and Bauchi states account for 50% of Nigeria’s ginger production.
- Centuries ago, Americans and Jamaicans used ginger to produce beer.
Types of Ginger
Ginger comes in various species, classified according to their flavour rhizomes and ornamental use. However, the notable cultivars of gingers include:
1). Yellow Ginger Root:
The yellow ginger root is covered by a thin brown skin that can be scraped or peeled before consumption. This type of ginger is most common in Nigeria.
2). Mioga Ginger:
This is the specie that forms an upright clump of leaf stalk reaching up to 3 feet in height.
3). Baby Ginger:
This specie is much milder and less spicy than the yellow ginger. It comes fresh in its stalk.
4). Dancing Crane:
These are the cultivars widely grown in Asia. Their flowers are usually edible with green leaves highlighted with a stunning central “white lightening” pattern.
5). Blue Hawaiian Ginger:
The blue ginger is so-called because the flowers are deep marine violet, almost purple with yellow anthers which intensify in flavour and spice as it matures.
6). Pine Ginger:
The pine cone ginger, commonly called shampoo ginger, is a cultivar found in warm, humid places around the world. It resembles a long green stalk with narrow leaves reaching up to 3 to 6 feet in height.
How to Start A Ginger Processing Business in Nigeria: Step-By-Step Guide
Ginger can be processed into three primary forms mainly: ginger powder, ginger extract and ginger oil. The following are the steps that would ensure your success in ginger production. All ginger processes always begin with these steps
1). Washing and sorting:
The rhizomes have to be washed and sorted to remove impurities and unwanted substances.
2). Peeling the Ginger:
The next stage is usually peeling the ginger. This could be achieved manually with hand or an industrial peeling machine if you are producing large quantities of ginger. Peeling or scraping is recommended to reduce drying space, reducing the growth and fermentation of moulds.
3). Bleaching the Ginger:
The peeled rhizomes can then be bleached to improve appearance. Bleaching involves soaking the rhizomes in water for 2 to 3 hours after peeling and washing, then steeping in a 1.5 to 2.0 lime solution (calcium oxide) for 6 hours before draining.
4). Drying the Ginger:
After draining the ginger comes the drying process. Ginger can be sun-dried or oven-dried; either method works effectively. Sun-drying should take about a week for areas with stable weather conditions, but mechanical drying is usually faster. Drying should be done at 8 to10% moisture and should not exceed 12%. After drying, weight loss is expected to be 60 to 70%.
5). Ginger Oil Distillation:
For ginger oil, the ginger rhizome can be used, dried or fresh. The oil is obtained using a simple process of steam distillation. The dried rhizomes are blended to a coarse powder and loaded into a stilling machine. Afterwards, the steam is condensed with cold water, during which process, the oil is separated from the steam water and collected.
6). Ginger Powder:
For ginger powder processing, after drying the ginger, you can then crush the dry matter into powder and prepare it for packaging.
7). Ginger Extract:
For ginger extracts, the drying stage is followed by a chemical process of extraction. It involves extracting from a supercritical carbon dioxide with a high level of antioxidation activity.
Challenges of Ginger Processing
The following are some of the challenges faced by ginger farmers in Nigeria:
- Lack of modernised farms
- Weather problems
- Market glut
- Difficulty in procuring fertilisers
- Middlemen problems
- Lack of credit facilities for ginger farmers
- Difficulty in accessing the international market
- Ginger production is labour-intensive
- Limited support from the government
- Lack of adequate research on ginger
- Ginger is still underused in Nigeria
To Sum It Up
Although many challenges confront the production of ginger in Nigeria, there are opportunities for newcomers in the business. You can begin ginger farming with as little as N50,000. Its demand in the international market will continue to grow because of the different uses of ginger. The root is used as a raw material in the processes of producing health goods, foods, and the bakery industry.
The ginger farming business in Nigeria can be a lucrative and profitable venture to start-up, due to its vast market demand and on your ability to build a wide supply chain network. If you’re looking for a supply chain business to venture into, the ginger farming business in Nigeria is a great option to explore.
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