24 July, 2017, 12:00 am
A BOOM in the ginger growing industry this year is expected, following its rapid growth and high export value of the agricultural commodity.
And with Government’s $1 million for ginger development in the 2017/2018 National Budget, Fiji Ginger Association interim president Josua Raitilava said more growth could be achieved with more collaboration between farmers and stakeholders.
“We are expecting a boom in the ginger industry this year with what the Government has allocated,” he told this newspaper in an interview last week.
“I thank the Government for the $1m allocation, especially with other initiatives such as subsidising manure, pesticides and land prep, is a big help which would enable growth in the industry.”
The association, a group formed last year by the Fiji Crop & Livestock Council to represent the ginger farmers around the country, consists of more than 717 registered ginger farmers.
“There is now a need for farmers to be in touch with agricultural extension officers, so that they can be assisted,” Mr Raitilava said.
“I understand that the extension officers have also explained it well to ginger farmers the several assistance that are available.”
And with the growing potential of Fijian ginger in the international market, the Ministry of Agriculture is boosting export growth through commodity development programs.
An example of this was the ginger symposium organised by the ministry in Suva last week attended by several farmers from around the country including stakeholders.
The symposium was a platform for farmers and stakeholders to exchange their experiences and share their knowledge to increase ginger production in the Central Division.
“It’s good that they attended these kinds of workshops because it will boost their knowledge on land preparation and seedlings preparation,” Mr Raitilava said.
“We will also have to meet soon with the FCLC to discuss the allocation as we are almost finishing July now and September, the planting season for ginger, is nearing.”