NIGERIA – The Nigerian government has announced plans to allocate N1.6 billion (USD 1.2 million) to aid affected farmers and revitalize ginger production in response to the devastating fungal disease outbreak.

This financial support is intended to benefit smallholder farmers across Kaduna, Nasarawa, Plateau, and the Federal Capital Territory.

The severity of the situation was revealed by data from the AFEX Commodities Exchange, indicating a stark decline in ginger production.

In 2023, the country yielded less than 100,000 tons, a staggering drop from over 800,000 tons the preceding year. Notably, Kaduna State, responsible for over 80% of the national supply, bore the brunt of the losses, amounting to an estimated N12 billion (USD 8.7 million).

Moreover, as part of their reviving efforts, Sabi Abdullahi, Minister of State for Agriculture and Food Security, officially inaugurated a national committee on March 25 in a bid to combat the fungal disease wreaking havoc on Nigeria’s ginger cultivation.

This disease, which surfaced in 2023, has significantly impacted the country’s ginger production, prompting urgent measures to salvage the industry.

The formation of the committee, as reported by the local daily Independent, marks a collaborative effort comprising researchers, extension workers, and farmers.

With Nigeria being Africa’s primary producer and exporter of ginger, the repercussions of this fungal pathology have been profound, affecting numerous spice cultivation regions.

Minister Abdullahi emphasized the urgency of addressing crop losses, particularly in Kaduna, where the disease has inflicted substantial economic damage.

Acknowledging the devastating impact of fungal diseases on ginger farmers, Minister Abdullahi lamented the loss of over N20 billion in Kaduna alone.

Nigeria’s ginger industry holds significant promise for economic growth, as highlighted by Minister Abdullahi during the inauguration of the Presidential Committee on Ginger Crop Transformation in Abuja.

He underscored the potential of Nigeria’s ginger to contribute USD 6.29 billion to the economy by 2030, surpassing the USD 4.16 billion recorded in 2023.

He emphasized the unparalleled quality of Nigerian ginger, which has garnered global recognition for its taste and potency.

With increasing demand in international markets due to its health and culinary benefits, Nigeria’s ginger industry presents a significant avenue for economic expansion.

However, the fungal outbreak has not only inflicted financial losses but also jeopardized Nigeria’s position as the world’s second-largest ginger producer.

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