My Thoughts on Technology and Jamaica: Ministry of Agriculture say Ginger can achieve 5% of Global demand by 2019


Thursday, October 30, 2014

Ministry of Agriculture say Ginger can achieve 5% of Global demand by 2019

“Once the farmers continue to embrace the best practices, and there is sufficient buy-in from the market, the country could meet that demand "in five years"”

Ministry of Agriculture Export Division General Manager Byron Henry commenting on Jamaica intention to meet 5% of global Ginger demand by 2019

This might come as a surprise to many Jamaicans, but despite the negative things being said about Jamaican Agriculture, we are really on the cusp of Greatness!

We’re already in the process of exporting Mangoes to the United States of America, once we have a Processing Plant will be needed to meet the requirements of the US Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service as explained in my blog article entitled “Jamaica to Export Mangoes to America - Why US$20 Million Processing Plant for Radiation Therapy and Hot Water Baptism needed to Tap US$500 Million US Market”.

The Ministry of Agriculture recently revealed that Jamaica can produce up to 5% of global demand of Ginger (Zingiber Officinale) by 2019 as stated in the article “Jamaica could meet global demand for its Ginger by 2019”, published Sunday, October 19, 2014, The Jamaica Observer.

According to Ministry of Agriculture Export Division General Manager Byron Henry, it's economically feasible as when our powdered Ginger (Zingiber Officinale) is compared to the imported variety, mainly from China, ours is cheaper:

1.      US$1000 per Kilogram for Imported Ginger (Zingiber Officinale)
2.      US$813 per Kilogram for Jamaican Ginger (Zingiber Officinale)

Production is looking quite positive in 2014:

1.      320 hectares (790 acres) under production
2.      3,000 metric tons (tonnes) expected yield

To put that into perspective, when compared to figures for Ginger (Zingiber Officinale) yield from 2009:

1.      5 times the 409 tonnes
2.      20 tonnes more exported than what we import

To achieve the 5% of global Demand of Ginger would require:

1.      1,460 hectares (3607.7 acres) under production
2.      21,000 metric tons (tonnes) expected yield

So after Mangoes and possibly Sorrel, which can potentially be made into Sorrel Wine for export as a unique Jamaican Product as explained in my blog article entitled “How to make Jamaican Sorrel Wine – JA$2500 for 5 1 Liter Bottles of Sorrel Wine goes well with Chocolate Christmas Cake”, Ginger (Zingiber Officinale) is the next crop that Jamaica has the potential to export competitively to the USA and even Europe.

Ministry of Agriculture and Ginger - Boost to Ginger Farming as it’s easy to Grow

The Ministry of Agriculture isn't sitting by idly.

Especially as growing Ginger (Zingiber Officinale) is relatively easy as it start sprouting within 5-10 days after planting, requires no fertilizer, albeit that increases yield and the ratoons that remain in the ground produce Ginger (Zingiber Officinale) year after year as noted in RADA (Rural Agricultural Development Authority) Growing Ginger Brochure.

When the leaves start to die off, usually after eight to ten months (8 to 10 months), the Ginger (Zingiber Officinale) is ready for harvesting as noted in the article “Growing Ginger Root”, viewed by Lindsworth Deer on October 30 2014, Tropical Permaculture.

Its extract from its powdered form has known medicinal uses should also be of interest to the Ministry of Health according to Dr. Tony Vendryes in his article “GINGER Is A GREAT MEDICINE”, Published Tuesday July 12, 2011, The Jamaica Gleaner:

1.      Cancer
2.      Inflammation
3.      Motion Sickness/morning sickness
4.      Side effects of Chemotherapy
5.      Sore throats from Cold
6.      Upset stomach

Despite missed opportunities, including a JA$500 million (US$6 million) dollar opportunity reported back in December 2011 to export Ginger (Zingiber Officinale) to an American company named REED that produces Ginger Beer and was seeking supplies of Ginger (Zingiber Officinale) from Jamaica in the article “Jamaica Squanders $500m Ginger Export Prospect”, published Friday December 2, 2011, The Jamaica Gleaner, the Ministry of Agriculture has still pushed ahead with incentives to increase production overall.

They’re been proactively promoting the Ginger Industry since February 2012, when the Ministry of Agriculture put in place measures to encourage Jamaicans to grow Ginger (Zingiber Officinale) as noted in the article “510 Acres To Be Planted With Ginger, Turmeric”, published Sunday February 26, 2012, by Avia Collinder, Business Writer, The Jamaica Gleaner.

This should be especially welcome News to the Farmers in Hanover and Westmoreland, the current leader in Ginger (Zingiber Officinale) production in Jamaica as declared in the article “St James, Hanover Lead Ginger Production”, published Saturday April 26, 2014 by Claudia Gardner, Assignment Coordinator, The Jamaica Gleaner.

During 2013, the Ministry of Agriculture took a deeper interest in the Ginger Industry:

1.      JA$31 million in 2012
2.      JA$114 million in 2013
3.      JA$40 million of the 2013 figure was interest-free loans to 502 farmers to cultivate 445 hectares (1099.61 acres)

Jamaica's is still in a recovery mode from the Rhizome rot and bacterial wilt diseases which devastated Jamaica's Ginger Industry during the 90's. 5% of Global Demand for Ginger (Zingiber Officinale) is now in our grasp with even more for VAP (Value added Products) such as Wines and Powdered Essence that can fetch a great deal more on the Global Export Market.

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