By Mohammed Baba Busu
Ginger is capable of impacting positively on Nigeria’s agricultural economic development, according to Maj.- Gen. Garba Mohammed, (RTD) Chairman, Governing Board of the National Horticultural Research Institute , Ibadan, Oyo State.
Gen Garba disclosed this at the opening of a Horticultural Training on Ginger Value Addition for the unemployed at National Cereals Research Institute (NCRI) Baddegi, Niger State
He said, ” Ginger is an important economic and food security crop and the commodity is linked to many health benefits and solutions.
“It is in the light of these and in our nation’s agricultural economic development, as well as our desire to achieve sustainable economic empowerment and growth in the commodity value chain of this crop that make this training crucial.
“This is to build the capacity of our citizens, in particular our unemployed youths and women. Rapid growth is only achieved on the back of significant investment activity.
“This training is therefore considered as part of the holistic action and activities in our nation’s drive towards economic growth.”
Gen Garba noted that, the present administration of President Muhammadu Buhari, agriculture has been identified as a critical multiplier sector that has high potential for massive job creation needed to tackle the current unemployment crisis in the nation.
“Since the coming of President Buhari’s administration, NIHORT has provided empowerment training to over 2,530 individuals.
“Besides the high potential of foreign exchange earning accruable to the nation, the domestic value chain in the processing of ginger is capable of producing items such as ginger flakes, powder, drink to mention but a few of the end products of ginger.”
Also speaking , the Executive Director of the Institute, Dr Abayomi Olaniyan, stated that, the training covers items such as; post-harvest handling practices, processing, storage, economics of ginger processing and marketing.
Olaniyan added, “Ginger is an important source of raw material and one of the commercial crop produced in Nigeria.
“Nigeria is the third largest exporter of ginger in the World after China and India.
“The Nigerian ginger varieties are acclaimed to be of superior quality and outstanding flavour, therefore a product of preference in the International market.
“Ginger can be processed into a wide variety of products such as ginger powder, ginger oil, oleoresins and other forms.
“There are a lot of opportunities in the ginger value chain from planting to processing, exporting, logistics, extracting and a whole lot of activities”, Executive Director added.
One of the participants, Umar Madaki, thanked the Institute for the opportunity given to them and stressed that, they have gained a lot from the training, in adding value to both tomato and ginger
He promised that, they will go back and train more people in that regard, so that many can be gainfully employed through that