Ginger Rehabilitation Reaping Success


Parish Manager of the Rural Agricultural Development Authority (RADA), St. Catherine, Andrew Carty has informed that the Ginger Rehabilitation Project funded by the Development Bank of Jamaica (DBJ), has been very successful.
The project is aimed at increasing ginger production, free from the rhizome rot disease. Mr. Carty said that since the inception of the programme a number of areas in St. Catherine have become involved in the initiative and ginger production has increased.
In 2003, twenty-five farmers from several areas in St. Catherine were assisted to establish .04 hectares of the crop with the understanding that it would be a revolving programme. They are required to return 49.8 kilograms of planting materials, similar to the amount, which was handed over at the inception of the programme. This is then issued to other farmers for planting. The Parish Manager stated that more than 70 per cent of the farmers who participated have returned planting materials to the programme.
Some challenges were experienced, despite the overall positives of the rehabilitation project. The large production of ginger in other parts of the island affected some farmers as they were unable to vend their crops at times, due to a glut on the market. At other times, those who were able to sell received a reduced price for their crops. Some farmers were reluctant to reap and this contributed to some being unable to return planting materials to other farmers who wanted to participate in the programme.
St. Catherine is not a traditional ginger-growing parish and so farmers had to be trained in the cultural practices of this type of crop production. Training sessions are ongoing and are geared toward the identification and control of the rhizome rot disease.
Fifteen hectares of the crop is presently growing in the parish. Mr. Carey explained that in the initial stages of the project, the yield was seven to one, meaning, “when we planted 100 pounds we expected to reap 700 pounds.although the price is so minuscule, if we get an average yield of about 12 to one the farmers would be able to make a suitable amount of revenue from the crop even if it is sold at the existing low price, so ideally we are trying to bring our production level up to 12 to one,” he informed.
“Last month some farmers were able to receive a substantial value from supermarket sales for the crop, they received over $180 per kilogram from a certain supermarket so it was quite lucrative,” said Mr. Carty while adding that this shows that the project has been helping farmers a great deal.
The project was funded in 2003, by the Development Bank of Jamaica (DBJ) at a cost of some $225,000.

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