Ginger is well known in many human communities around the world. It is the underground rhizome of a perennial tropical crop called Ginger plant (Zingiberofficinale). Originally, the plant is a native of South Eastern Asia but over centuries has been introduced to various parts of the world like the Caribbean, the Americas and Africa. Presently, the top growers of the crop includes Jamaica, Indonesia, Fiji etc
A mature ginger rhizome is fibrous and has a striated texture. The outer skin of the rhizome is brownish in colour while the inner flesh depending on the variety may be red, yellow or white.
Nigeria is the third largest exporter of ginger in the world after China and India. In the Nigerian market ginger is well known and on high demand even though it is quite expensive.
Most of the dried ginger that are available for international trade are simply sun dried over a few days, but artificial drying is also used in areas lacking a defined dry season to coincide with the harvest.
The rhizomeis dried to between 10 and 12 per cent moisture content. Dried ginger is usually presented in a split or sliced form. Splitting is said to be preferred to slicing, as slicing loses more flavour, but the sliced are easier to grind and this is the predominant form of dried ginger currently in the market.
In Nigeria, harvesting of ginger starts from October and normally continues until April/May. This largely depends on the market situation as ginger can be left on the ground (not harvested) for two years.
Ginger is produced in six states of the Federation namely, Kaduna, Nasarawa, Benue, Niger and Gombe with Kaduna as the major producer. Nigeria’s production in 2005 was estimated at 110,000 metric tonnes (FAO). In the market, ginger is available in various forms; fresh ginger rhizome, powder ginger and dry ginger rhizome. Out of this, 10% is locally consumed as fresh ginger while 90% is dried primarily for the export markets.
Ginger can be processed into a wide variety of products. Many products can be manufactured from ginger like dehydrated ginger, ginger candy, ginger powder, ginger oil and oleoresins and so on. Ginger is an important commercial crop with versatile applications. As condiment, ginger is used for flavoring many food products like tomato sauce or ketchup, salad dressings, meat sausages, gravies, pickles, curry dishes and so on.
It is also used in many medicines as it helps digestion and absorption of food and has antiseptic properties. Ginger based products have wide range of applications in many industries like food processing, pharmaceutical, soft drinks, meat canning, confectionary, tobacco processing, soap making and so on. The demand for the processed products is increasing day by day due to its convenience to handle and use. There are good export prospects as well.
This report is to examine the financial viability or otherwise of establishing a ginger powder production and packaging plant in Nigeria.
The production capacity of the proposed business is twelve (12) tons for ginger powder per day of three (3) shifts of eight (8) hours each working at 80% of the installed capacity in the first, second, third, fourth and fifth year of operations respectively.