In this post we are going to be looking at how to farm ginger and turmeric here in Nigeria.
Ginger is very popular to be a spice for cooking food in several parts of the world but one thing is it is an underground rhizome from the ginger plant called Zingiberofficinale that is perennial and tropical crop .
This plant is known to have originated from Southeastern Asia and are spread over different parts of the world like Americas, Caribbean, and Africa. And currently, in today’s world, the highest growers of this crop are the Indonesians, the Jamaicans and the Fijis.
A ginger rhizome that is mature is known to have striated texture. The outer part of this rhizome has a brown colour while the inner part they have colours like white, yellow, or red depending on the variety of ginger.
It is also a known fact that Nigeria is among the highest producers of ginger in the world. This might be because the ginger crop is highly requested for and has a high demand. It is being used in several meals. In Nigeria, the highest producer of the ginger crop is northern state known as Kaduna while the rest like Bauchi, Gombe, nassarawa, Benue, are major producers of ginger. There are several ways ginger crop is available in the market in forms like; powder ginger, fresh ginger rhizome and dry ginger rhizome.
Growing ginger in Nigeria
These are the requirements to cultivate ginger in Nigeria;
- You need a fertile soil that is mulched. Preferably loamy soil which is the best for agriculture.
- You should make the ridges which are very necessary for planting ginger.
- You need an annual rainfall which its minimum is about 1500 mm.
- You also need a daily temperature which is that the average degree of 30 degree celsius.
- You need viable budded ginger rhizomes.
- Good drainage is also required to prevent flooding and waterlogging.
Uses of Ginger
before you learn how to farm ginger it is very important to understand the uses of ginger crop.
- Ginger is used as flavour in bakeries.
- Ginger makes up local or herbal medicines.
- Ginger is used as spice in local foods.
- Ginger is used in breweries as ingredients to produce ginger beer or ginger ale.
- Ginger plant is used for landscaping.
ginger is one plant that I know that is being cultivated from rhizomes vegetatively. The following steps are the full vegetative propagation of ginger crop;
- Sett preparation:
Before the rhizomes are being propagated to develop buds, it is the smaller pieces that are cut into that is called SETT. A sett is known to have a length of 3 cm and also has at least one bud. The year to be propagated rhizomes are kept in store until they start showing signs of growing before you proceed to planting.
You can plant ginger by digging a hole that is about 8 cm deep and burying the sett in it. Make sure it’s pointing upwards while in the soil. Sett must be Spaced apart at least 30x30cm.
It’s the sett that turns into a fresh ginger crop. Best time for planting ginger crop is a month before rainfall commences.
Having looked at ginger, let’s learn how to farm Tumeric.
But before that, you should have a basic understanding of turmeric. Turmeric is not to belong to the family of ginger called Zingiberaceae. This family of the crop is popularly known as the queen of spices can be called Curcuma longo.
This particular plant can have an amazing height of about 1 metre with several branches. It possesses several characteristics with which you use in distinguishing it from others and these are features like good aroma, peppery nature, yellow to orange colour and sharp test. Turmeric is popularly used due to its economical and medicinal value. turmeric is used in the preparation of drugs, cosmetics, dye and the other forms of colouring and spicing of food.
The farming of turmeric originated in the Asian continent where they use it in spicing up foods. You’ll hardly see an Asian food that is lacking turmeric.
Currently, in the world, the highest producer of turmeric is India. The other countries that produce turmeric in very bountiful quantities like Indonesia, China, Taiwan, Myanmar, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Pakistan, and Mozambique. Just like ginger farming turmeric farming is known to be very lucrative and it can be grown in several places like field, hydroponic and containers.
Varieties of Turmeric
- Red streaked
- Local turmeric
- China scented
- Improved erode
Importance of turmeric
- Turmeric is used in reducing the level of cholesterol in the body. using turmeric as part of your food seasoning can be very helpful in terms of reducing the amount of serum cholesterol in the body.
- Turmeric regulates the level of blood sugar in the body. It is very helpful in regulating and moderating the level of insulin which helps in the treatment of diabetes.
- Turmeric helps in wound healing. It is known to be a natural antiseptic. Turmeric is an antibacterial agent which can also function as a disinfectant.
- Turmeric is also very helpful in relieving arthritis. Turmeric possesses anti-inflammatory properties just like in ginger which is very helpful in treating rheumatoid arthritis.
- Turmeric also helps in preventing cancer. the prevention of prostate cancer can be done with the help of turmeric because it helps in destroying cancerous cells in the body. Turmeric possessed some properties that protect your body against radiation.
In conclusion with regards to the cultivation of ginger and turmeric, they are always cultivated in subtropical and tropical areas of the country. Countries that cultivate these crops like Australia, Indonesia Nigeria, India, China, and Bangladesh all have tropical areas for these farming. Specifically, ginger is known to grow in a humid warm climate and that is why it is been cultivated with an altitude of 5000 feet from sea level while turmeric is being grown from 1300 to 3000 feet.
The optimum temperature for growing these crops is from 68 degrees Fahrenheit to 77 degrees Fahrenheit and any temperature that is lower than this that is used in farming this crop leads to dormancy. Also about this plant is that it requires shade during the Summer season in order to avoid foliar damage and stress.