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Fiji Time: 1:55 AM on Saturday 2 August

/ Front page / Business

Market opens up

Ropate Valemei
Friday, February 15, 2013

GINGER production over the past 10 years shows an average production of 2300 tonnes annually for immature ginger (green) and 800 tonnes for mature ginger.

Total ginger exports showed an average of 1200 tonnes of fresh and processed ginger earned around $6.5million a year.

Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forest chief economist Ilimeleki Kaiyanuyanu said government was focused on supporting ginger development through its budgetary allocation.

He said they were now looking at the way forward in terms of market developments.

"The opening of the fresh ginger market in Australia will definitely boost our ginger industry in terms of foreign earnings," he said.

There are 200 ginger producers supplying the ginger market with mainly green ginger in the largest producing area of Naitasiri."

With this new market for mature or fresh ginger, he said it would further expand and increase returns.

"The ministry has earmarked a number of ginger growers to supply the Australian market and negotiation is currently ongoing with the exporting company regarding the required quotas that needs to be supplied."

He said production forecast would not change given the nature of the commodity where there was only one planting season.

Ginger producers, he said, were more concerned about the production of planting materials and the supply of green ginger.

"There are standards that will be strictly monitored by biosecurity and which producers need to comply with. Though, it is anticipated that fresh ginger production will increase in the next few seasons given the new market and there will be a further increase in ginger exports," Mr Kaiyanuyanu said.

So far, he said they could not quantify or put an exact figure on forecasts as the new market demand was yet to be confirmed from the company concerned.

For the past decade, Mr Kaiyanuyanu said the trend showed ginger was once a major export commodity in Fiji in the 1980s and 1990s and was recently revitalised by the ministry because of huge export potentials.

"Farmers would be willing to produce provided there are reliable markets to work with," he said.

The ministry supported two of the major processors of ginger, Kaiming and Food Processors through Fiji's Export Promotion programme with the objective of providing export markets for farmers.

Farmer Samuela Tuinavua said he would need to concentrate on ginger production following the opportunities for export.

Mr Tuinavua said this was a great boost for ginger farmers to go the extra mile.


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