The Federal Government, on Friday, disclosed that the country earned not less than $10.4 million from the exportation of ginger in 2019.

The Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Trade and Investment, Dr Nasir Gwarzo, made the disclosure in Abuja during the inauguration of the National Executive Committee of the National Ginger Association of Nigeria.

He urged the farmers to redouble their effort towards tapping into the $3 billion global ginger market.

“in 2019, Nigeria exports of ginger amounted to $10.4 million which is by no means insignificant in a market of close to $3 billion.

“There is therefore evident space for the country to increase its exports by scaling up the production of ginger so that farmers can tap into the $3 billion global ginger market by exporting value added ginger product and earned more foreign exchange and ensure job creation,” he said.

He said Nigeria is the largest producer of ginger in Africa and the 4th largest producer in the world with total global production share of 14 percent and projected to grow at 6 percent per annum, adding that about 90 percent of Nigerian production are exported.

Gwarzo said while Nigerian production capacity is put at 15 percent of current production capacity, ginger export grew with 5.6 percent per year in 2015 to over $42.5 million in exported value in 2017.

He called on the association to come up with ambitious targets that would enable Nigeria to become a leading exporter of the product.

The permanent secretary highlighted some of the challenges that did not allowed the country to fully harness the economic benefit of growing ginger despite the national potential to low quality seeds and low use of technology.

He however tasked the association to tap into the N75 billion small and medium enterprise fund available at the Bank of Industry to develop the ginger value chain such that they are able to mop up harvest and farmers are encouraged to increase production instead of being displaced.

The National President, National Ginger Association of Nigeria, Squadron Leader Nuhu Daudu rtd. , said presently, ginger is produced up to the tune of 500, 000 metric tones in the country.

“And now this year, it has increased. So we are just waiting for the data or statistics by the end of the year to see the amount of ginger that has been produced,” he said.

Daudu said a nation cannot develop and progress in an atmosphere of poverty and in an atmosphere where the youth that are in majority do not have work to do.

“Once we engage our youth and most of our women and men in ginger production and processing, it is going to improve our GDP in no small measure.

“Our naira will have value, the dollar will begin to drop and definitely the development of this nation will skyrocket,” he said.

The national president said the association faces challenges which bordered on funding, training of members on international best practices, availability of processing machinery, among others.