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Tanzania mulls increasing ginger
production to meet global demands    

ARUSHA, Tanzania, (Xinhua) -- Authorities in northern Tanzania on Tuesday expressed determination of increasing ginger production to meet local and international market demands.

Said Mecky Sadick, Kilimanjaro Regional Commissioner said his office has been encouraging smallholder farmers in the ginger producing areas to venture into the crop because of its reliable markets in and outside the country.

Currently, ginger in Kilimanjaro Region is widely grown in Same District, particularly on the slopes of Usambara Mountains—the ancient range in northeast Tanzania, which is part of the Eastern Arc.

Ginger is used as a spice and for medicinal purposes.

Sadick views ginger as one of the tools that can be used to address poverty among producers and all people in the value chain.

“We’re also encouraging local and foreign investors to invest in value addition—ginger processing to meet the international markets,” he said.

Ginger produced in northern Tanzania is sold in neighboring Kenya, where traders re-package it for overseas markets.

“We want to reverse the trend and encourage more processors to invest in value addition within the area where production is made, so that ginger produced there is directly taken to the international markets,” he said.

Tanzania is now eyeing the United Arab Emirates as the next market for ginger produced in the east African nation.

“This is an important aspect that adds value on ginger, we have the responsibility to ensure that we remain the sole producers of quality ginger in Tanzania and east African region,” Sadick said.

Rosemary Sitaki, Same District Commissioner said that the government is working to encourage ginger growers to work in groups, so that they can be easily assisted.

“We are determined to come up with bold strategies to scale up production of the root crop. Our aims are to ensure availability of the crop that can be easily tapped by processing factories.”

According to Sitaki, a forum for ginger growers has been established in the district that provides a platform for players to extensively discuss pertinent issues facing ginger farming.

“As government, we want to see ginger is exported after adding its value for the benefit of growers and the country at large.”

District’s agricultural and co-operative officer, Majid Kabyemela, said that for years, Same District remained the leading in Tanzania for ginger production as it produces 70 percent of all ginger produced and its farmers have the ability to produce 14,500 tonnes annually.

Other ginger growing regions in Tanzania include Ruvuma, Kigoma, Tanga, Morogoro, Coast and Mbeya.



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