As the novel coronavirus pandemic (COVID-19) presented lucrative prospects for ginger farmers and suppliers across the globe, ginger farmers and traders in Ghana are risking opportunities to cash in on the situation.
Though producer prices of ginger have increased across major ginger production areas in Ghana with the price for a 1 kilo rising sharply from US$0.16 to US $3.83 (as packed and ready for export) between 2019 and 2021, there is little enthusiasm from dealers in Ghana to meet current global demands.
China is the largest ginger grower on the global market and has seen the demand for the product increase due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Heavy rainfalls in the last quarter of 2020 in that country has also resulted in a large part of the old harvest being lost.
The first ginger harvest which started in China in November last year and has ended, has also placed pressure on other producers like Peru, Brazil and Thailand to meet the growing demands.
Prices currently amount to around 40-45 Euro in Europe and US$50 in the U.S for a 12 kilogram box.
With an end to COVID-19 not readily in sight, trade experts have said global demand for the commodity will continue to see a hike. This probably presents opportunities for traders and farmers in Ghana.
The excessive demand for the product on the global market has pushed Peru to end its season in January this year, instead of March 2021.
The export of Peruvian ginger has set a record in 2020. Since the start of the season, sales have increased compared to previous years. Up to September last year, Peru had shipped 29,436 tons of ginger to destinations across the world; 108 percent more than in 2019. This increase in exports was in relation to production shortage in China due to their high domestic demand.
In the Netherlands, Germany, Belgium, Italy and South Africa, prices of the commodity continue to skyrocket.
Ginger as a crop requires warmer temperatures, usually between 25 to 35 degree Celsius, and moisty climate with annual rainfall of at least 1300 to 1500mm within nine months of the growth of the crop. The Ghanaian climate is considered ideal for large scale cultivation.
In 1975, a ginger processing facility was built for the people of Gyankoba, a farming community in the Atwima Nwabiagya district to process ginger into powder and its dried variants, but the facility has been defunct for many years.
By Wisdom Jonny-Nuekpe