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JIS News

The Scientific Research Council (SRC) is now developing ginger as a nutraceutical, in response to growing demand for the product.
“A nutraceutical is a bio-active compound, which when included in our diet, promotes wellness and health, by preventing diseases. It does not cure diseases but it prevents them,” Product and Development Research Manager, Ann Marie Smith, explained to JIS News.
She noted that ginger was in huge demand as a remedy for nausea, and it also lowers cholesterol and triclyglycerides, which were associated with hypertension or high blood pressure.
The SRC is undertaking the venture in collaboration with the Rural Agricultural Development Authority (RADA), Bodles Research Station, the Natural Product Institute and the Biotechnology Department at the University of the West Indies, and the Planning Institute of Jamaica (PIOJ).
According to Mrs. Smith, it is hoped that the project would resuscitate ginger production, which has been in decline due to the rhizome rot disease.
She noted that the SRC has been providing planting material to the farming community. “We are able to supply a 10,000-plantling request, but we do not have the plants here waiting to be sold. We first enter into a contract with a client and then we propagate them,” she informed.
Jamaican ginger is also in great demand on the overseas market because of its quality and flavour, commanding top dollar, and Mrs. Smith is confident that the development of this new nutraceutical industry, would increase employment.
“With the emergence of the wellness industry and alternative medicine, ginger will have a prominent place,” she declared.