Ginger is one of the most valuable cash crops in Nigeria. Many countries like China are into ginger importation that is why people in the northern Nigeria embark on ginger cultivation. Ginger is highly medicinal and is used to cure many diseases including malaria and diabetes.
Many people find it difficult to cultivate ginger because they don’t know how is being cultivated. Some are ignorant of the economic importance. A hectare of land cultivated with ginger, produces 70 to 100 50kg bags of ginger, and a 50kg bag of ginger in Nigeria today is sold for ₦30,000, Which means in every hectare of land being cultivated with ginger, the farmer makes 2.1 to 3 million a year.
People in the northern part of Nigeria build houses and buy cars with the money they make from ginger cultivation. That is why a farmer who wants to succeed very fast will always consider going into ginger cultivation. Ginger is very easy to cultivate. The returns in ginger cultivation are far beyond the cost of production. People don’t know much about ginger production that is why they don’t embark in its cultivation. Ginger is very costly and the buyers are much both locally and internationally In successful ginger cultivation the following steps should be carefully followed;
Prepare the, land very well, if the land is being used for continuous cropping then organic manure (waste from poultry pigs, and other animal waste) or compost manure should be broadcasted in the farm continuously so as to enrich the soil. Or if the soil which you have set apart for ginger cultivation is not rich enough, then enrich by adding organic manure. Make sure you spread the organic manure to cover the whole area of land, also make sure that the spread of manure is evenly distributed. If you have a tractor, then use your tractor to plough the land, so as to ensure evenly distribution of manure and also ploughing ensures that the manure is being mixed very well with the soil. Ploughing also enhances aeration and enables the manure to go deep inside the soil where the roots can benefit from them. When you are done with the manure application, allow rain to fall on it for the first time, and then when that happens, follow the next step immediately.
Start planting immediately, but the question is how you plant so that you make harvesting very easy Ginger is a root crop and the roots spread in diverse places in the ground with no specific direction. Ginger is cultivated in columns or in rows in order to make harvesting very easy, that is to say, that if you plant in rows, harvesting would be done in rows and vice versa. Ginger planting is normally done by at least two persons with one opening the hole and the other inserting the seeds. Dig horizontally or vertically aligned lines of hole, of about 5 to 7cm deep. The line of hole should be continuous from starting to where it ends, before you take the next line. After opening the hole for the first time, the seed would be inserted, along that particular row. As you are opening the next line, the sand that is being dug out from the second line would be used to close the first line. That is to say that digging of new line of hole and closing of previous line of hole is done simultaneously. Repeat this continuously until the whole planting is finished. After this particular step has been completed, follow the next step immediately.
ALSO READ: Business Plan for Ginger Cultivation
ALSO READ: Business Plan for Ginger Cultivation
This third step is called the insulation stage; in this stage the whole hectare of land is being covered with grasses. N/B; There are grasses that generate weeds, such grasses are not supposed to be used. Elephant grass is an excellent material for this purpose. But if you don’t have elephant grass, you can try other grasses as time goes on you will be able to find the best for yourself. Use the grass to cover the whole area of land. Please always remember that proper insulation is key to successful ginger cultivation. Insulation is done so as to prevent direct sunlight from reaching the seeds. If direct sunlight reaches the seeds, the will dry up inside the ground, therefore germination will not occur. After the whole area of land has been properly insulated, the land would be left for about two to three weeks for the seeds to germinate.
When the seeds have successfully germinated, leave it to grow. The next step is how you can weed. You don’t use machetes or cutlasses to weed your ginger farm else you destroy the seeds in the course of weeding. Weeding in ginger farm is done with ordinary hand. Make sure you put on your safety boot and hand gloves before entering inside your ginger farm, so as to ensure safety. As the ginger progress in their growth, fertilizer can be applied so as to enhance growth rate and increase production, but if you have enough organic manure you can use them. I don’t know why people in the south-eastern and southern part of Nigeria are not into ginger production, even though their land is more fertile and productive than those in the northern part. Application of fertilizer or organic manure is done after weeding. If you want to maximize profit always keep your ginger farm very neat. After you must have applied manure for the very first time after germination, your ginger will now use that manure to advance in growth. Leave your ginger until the leaves start drying. When the leaves start drying, you will now know that the ginger is due for harvesting then harvest horizontally or vertically just the same pattern you use in planting you will also use in harvesting. When you are digging, consider the depth of the seeds during planting, make sure you dig deeper than what you have dug during planting; this is to avoid damaging the seeds.
During harvesting, consider the next planting season; please always preserve the ones you want to use for the next planting season inside the ground that means you don’t have to harvest them until when the time of planting comes, you can now harvest and plant immediately. Harvesting those ones you want to use for the next planting season ahead of time will definitely affect the viability of the seeds, unless is being harvested and stored in the ground where no sun rays will destroy it. After harvesting, the next is how to preserve. Preservation of ginger is very simple and does not cost anything. It is always good you preserve your ginger. Preserved/dried ginger has more market value than the wet one. That is why you need to dry your ginger so as to maximize profit. The ginger is being cut transversely or longitudinally. Splitting ginger longitudinally enhances drying .It can be done manually or mechanically Recently, a lecturer in Michael Okpara University of Agriculture Umudike in Abia State, Nigeria, designed a ginger splitting Machine, which splits ginger longitudinally. When you must have finished splitting the ginger, you spread it under the sun for it to dry. After drying the next thing is packaging and storage. Package the ginger in a 50kg bag or any type of bag of any capacity depending on how you want to sell your ginger. Store your ginger in a cool dry place, until the time you wish to sell.