Ginger In Nigeria; Ginger is well known in many human communities around the world. Nigeria is the fourth largest exporter of ginger in the world, with China being the second largest producer and India the largest producer and exporter to more than 50 countries and accounting for more than 70% of the world’s production.

In the Nigerian market, ginger is well known and on high demand even though it is quite expensive.


Kaduna State is the highest producer of ginger in Nigeria, while states like Gombe, Bauchi, Benue, Nassarawa among others are major producers of the crop.


Nigeria produces an average of 160,000 metric tonnes of fresh weight ginger per annum.

Ginger production
Ginger is available in various forms: fresh ginger rhizomes, powdered ginger and dried ginger rhizomes. The vegetative propagation of ginger involves the following steps:

Set preparation. When the fingers of rhizomes to be propagated begin to develop buds, they are cut into smaller pieces called sets. A set is about 3 cm in length and each set has at least one bud. The set to be propagated is usually stored until signs of growth are noticed, after which planting is performed.


Planting is done at the start of the rainy season, usually April to May. In areas with abundant supply of water throughout the year, planting can be done anytime. Ginger is usually intercropped with perennial crops such as coconut and coffee.

Planting. Ginger is planted by burying each set in a hole about 8 cm deep with the bud of each set pointing upwards in the soil. The sets should be spaced 30×30cm apart. Each set grows into a new ginger plant. Planting should be performed about a month before the rains come.

Fertilization: Both organic and inorganic fertilizers can be used. Compost manure is preferable. The preferred fertilizer in Nigeria for ginger growing is the NPK 15:15:15, which is applied twice: first about twenty days after planting at a rate of 4 bags per hectare, and second about 40 days after the first application at the rate of 2 bags per hectare. Urea is used during the second fertilizer application.

Weed control. Controlling weed growth on the ginger farm can be done manually by hand picking or by using chemicals (herbicides).

Pest and disease control.  Mites, shoot borers and leaf rollers are major pests that attack the ginger plant. These pests can be controlled by using pesticides and insecticides. Captan is used to control some of the diseases that affect ginger, such as leaf spot.

Harvesting. On average ginger takes about nine months from the time of planting to mature. The rhizome can be harvested at different times depending on its purpose. If fresh ginger is required, it is harvested about six month after planting. If a matured ginger rhizome is required, it is harvested nine months after planting. Sometimes the rhizomes are left in the ground for nearly two years for propagation to continue. In Nigeria, harvesting begins in October and runs through May. Ginger rhizomes can be harvested manually by hand or with machines such as the mechanical digger.

Processing: The activities involved in processing ginger depend on the end product required. When the harvested rhizome is washed with boiling water and dried later, the product is called dried ginger and this can be ground to produce powdered ginger. Otherwise, it can be used as a fully dried ginger rhizome. The rhizome can also be processed as fresh ginger or be peeled.


Ginger is highly medicinal as it aids in digestion and absorption of food and has antiseptic properties.

Ginger based products have wide range of applications in many industries like food processing, pharmaceutical, soft drinks, meat canning, confectionary, tobacco processing, soap making and so on.

PRICING - Nigeria: growing ginger market

The popularity of ginger is rising Nigeria, not only for fresh, but also dried and powdered product. On the international market, a tonne of ginger generates between 6,000 and 7,000 dollars. In Nigeria, that price stands at $3,500. Ginger has gained a permanent place in many kitchens, thus boosting the demand. For the Nigerian exporters, transport is a challenge. Moreover, the country's production is not very well known.


The export markets for the Nigerian ginger includes; China, India the United Kingdom, Germany, Spain, Netherlands, France, United States of America, Russia, Saudi, Arabia among others


On the average, ginger takes about nine months from the time of planting to mature. Harvesting of ginger starts from October and normally continues until April/May. This largely depends on the market situation as ginger can be left on the ground (not harvested) for two years.

Ginger in Nigeria is traded in three basic forms, which includes fresh, pickled or preserved and dried.


The export season of Ginger in Nigeria is all year round but peaks around harvest season; November to March.


Many products can be manufactured from ginger like dehydrated ginger, ginger candy, ginger powder, ginger oil and oleoresins.

The activities involved in processing ginger depends on the end product required. When the harvested rhizome is washed with boiling water and dried the product is called dried ginger and this can be grinded to produce powdered ginger or can be used as a full dried ginger rhizome. The rhizome can also be processed as fresh ginger or peeled.


Dried ginger when stored in woven plastic sacks in non-cemented dusty rooms can stay for up to 10 years depending on the kind of variety and market demand.


Challenges facing ginger production in the country includes poor researches, lack of organic fertilizer, loan facilities, modern farming implements, direct link with international buyers and exploitation of farmers by middle-men, who are reaping big at the expense of the local farmers.


·         Production
·         Processing 
·         Export 
·         Storage