Ginger is an important commercial crop grown for its aromatic rhizomes. It is a herbaceous perennial and botanically known as Zingiber officinale Rosc. The rhizomes of ginger are used as a spice. Ginger of commerce is the dried rhizome. It is marketed in different forms such as raw ginger, dry ginger, bleached dry ginger, ginger powder, ginger oil, ginger oleoresin, ginger paste, ginger candy, gingerol, ginger beer, brined ginger, ginger wine, ginger squash, ginger flakes etc. Commercial ginger cultivation is a profitable business in the spice industry.
World trade in ginger is estimated at $190 million per year. The largest ginger importers are the United Kingdom, the United States, and Saudi Arabia.
In India, Ginger is cultivated almost in every state. However, states namely Karnataka, Orissa, Assam, Meghalaya, Arunachal Pradesh, and Gujarat together contribute 65% of the country’s total production. Ginger cultivation can be done in open land and greenhouse both. Organically grown gingers are most costly, thus, give substantial profit to the farm owners.
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Health Benefits Of Ginger
- Ginger may drastically lower blood sugars and improve heart disease risk factors
- Ginger appears to speed up emptying of the stomach, which can be beneficial for people with indigestion and related stomach discomfort.
- Additionally, ginger can lead to significant reductions in LDL cholesterol and blood triglyceride levels.
- Ginger contains a substance called 6-gingerol, which may have protective effects against cancer.
- Studies suggest that ginger can protect against age-related damage to the brain. It can also improve brain function in elderly women.
- Ginger is very good at subsiding various types of nausea and vomiting, including morning sickness in pregnant women, motion sickness in travelers, and even nausea in chemotherapy patients.
- Ginger compounds have shown positive results in treating respiratory disorders, and research indicates it is a promising treatment for patients suffering from asthma.
Best Varieties For Ginger Cultivation
Some of the prominent indigenous cultivars are Maran, Kuruppampadi, Ernad, Wayanad, Himachal, and Nadia. The exotic cultivar ‘Rio-de-Janeiro’ have also become very popular among cultivators. The improved varieties of ginger and their salient features are given on the table.
|Rio-de- Janeiro||The size of the rhizome is bold, the color of skin is buff, pungent, high flavor and less fibrous|
|Thingpui||The size of the rhizome is medium, the color of skin is buff, pungent, high flavor and less fibrous|
|Wynad||The size of the rhizome is bold, the color of skin is buff, pungent, flavored and less fibrous|
|Maran||The size of the rhizome is medium, the color of skin is buff, pungent, high flavor and less fibrous|
|Nadia||Size of the rhizome is medium to bold, yellowish in color, moderately pungent, mild flavored and less fibrous comparatively.|
|China||Bold rhizome, high yield, low crude fiber|
|IISR Varada||High fresh and dry yield, high dry recovery, resistant to storage pest.|
|Suprabha||High yield (fresh and dry), plumpy rhizome, less fiber, wide adaptability.|
Agro-Climatic Condition For Ginger Cultivation
Ginger grows well in a warm and humid climate and is cultivated from sea level to an altitude of 1500 m above sea level. Ginger can be grown both under rainfed and irrigated conditions. For successful
cultivation of the crop, a moderate rainfall at sowing time till the rhizomes sprout, fairly heavy and well-distributed showers during the growing period and dry weather for about a month before harvesting are necessary.
Early planting with the receipt of summer showers during February-March results in higher yield and reduces disease incidence.
Suitable Soil For Ginger Cultivation
Ginger thrives best in well-drained soils like sandy loam, clay loam, red loam or lateritic loam. A friable loam with a pH of 6.0 to 6.5 rich in humus is ideal. However, being an exhausting crop it is not desirable to grow ginger in the same soil year after year.
The soil must be rich in fertility. You will need to prepare the land before plantation. In areas prone to rhizome rot disease and nematode infestations, solarization of beds for 40 days using transparent polythene sheets is recommended.
Transplantation Technology For Ginger Cultivation
Though transplanting in ginger is not conventional, it is found profitable. A transplanting technique in ginger by using single bud sprouts (about 5 g) has been standardized to produce good quality planting material with reduced cost. The technique involves raising transplants from single sprout seed rhizomes in the pro-tray and planted in the field after 30-40 days. The advantages of this technology are the production of healthy planting materials and reduction in seed rhizome quantity and eventually reduced cost on planting material.
Inter-Crop Ginger Cultivation
You must follow the crop rotation. The crops most commonly rotated with ginger are tapioca, ragi, paddy, gingelly, maize, and vegetables. You can also grow ginger as an intercrop in coconut, coffee, and orange. However, you must avoid crop rotation using tomato, potato, chilies, brinjal, and peanut. These plants are hosts for the wilt causing organism, Ralstonia solanacearum.
Basic Procedural Techniques to Follow in Ginger Cultivation
1. Land Preparation
While preparing the land, minimum tillage operations may be adopted. Solarization is a technique by which moist beds in the field, are completely covered with polyethylene sheets and exposed to the sun for a period of 20-30 days. This is beneficial.
While planting, seed rhizomes mixed with well-rotted cattle manure or compost mixed with Trichoderma ( 10 g of compost inoculated with Trichoderma) may be put in shallow pits and covered with a thin layer of soil and leveled.
Ginger is cultivated as the rainfed crop in high rainfall areas and irrigated crop in fewer rainfall areas where distribution is not uniform. Arrange the right irrigation facility for your farm. You will need to provide proper drainage channel inter-rows to drain off the stagnant water. Irrigation is given at varying intervals of 4 – 10 days as and when required.
Ginger requires heavy manuring. Application of well rotten cow dung or compost @ 2.5 to 3 tonnes/acre may be made as a basal dose while planting the rhizomes in the pits. You can also apply neem cake.
Plant Protection System For Ginger Cultivation
Major two issues are pest management and disease management. Shoot borer is the major pest infesting ginger. Regular field surveillance and adoption of phytosanitary measures are necessary for pest management.
Soft rot or rhizome rot is a major disease of ginger. While selecting the area for ginger cultivation care should be taken to see that the area is well drained as water stagnation predisposes the plants to infection. Select seed rhizomes from disease-free areas since this disease is seed borne.
Harvesting, Curing & Storage For Ginger Cultivation
Ginger attains full maturity in 210-240 days after planting. Harvesting of ginger for vegetable purpose starts after 180 days based on the demand. The average yield of green ginger is estimated at about 6 to 10 tons per acre. The recovery of dry ginger varies from 16 – 25%. Fully dried rhizomes can be stored in airtight containers such as high-density polyethylene or similar packaging materials. For export, ginger packaging is normally done in polythene laminated gunny bags.
Ginger Cultivation Market Opportunity
Apart from the domestic market, ginger has good export potential also. APEDA has already sanctioned Agri Export Zones for fresh ginger in Assam, Orissa, and Sikkim, for enhancing exports. Indian Spices Board established under the Ministry of Commerce provides further support for the expansion of area under spices and enhancing exports. Board has also programmes to encourage production of organic ginger in the North Eastern States.
In the case of organic ginger, a certificate indicating material produce is based on organic farming is required for export. Commercial ginger cultivation is technically feasible and financially viable project even for small farm owners.
Things To Consider In Ginger Cultivation
Finally, to summarize, find below a checklist while starting ginger cultivation:
- The climate is an important factor in ginger cultivation.
- You must have the right soil for ginger cultivation. Otherwise, you must do some treatments.
- Among several varieties, you must choose the right one.
- Proper land preparation and manuring are important
- You will need to arrange proper irrigation facility.
- Proper plant protection methods need to be followed.
- If you really want to make a substantial profit from ginger farming, craft a financial plan carefully.
- Calculate the expected ROI.
Commercial ginger cultivation and organic ginger farming, both are the very profitable farming business. However, to get the substantial profit you must adopt the right technology. A successful ginger cultivation demands essential consideration in several aspects. Here we have listed, some of the basics.