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Ginger

Ginger is mainly used as a spice and to some extent for medicinal purposes. The origin of the herb is not well known but some people believe it is either from India or China.  In Uganda the crop is mainly grown in the central districts.

Market
The market for ginger is not well organised as it is dominated by speculative middlemen. There is no quality management, no quality standards, and no grading. Farmers are reluctant to invest because their market outlets are unreliable, and market agents are reluctant to invest because farm production is sub-optimal.

The ginger is partly consumed locally and the balance is exported.  There is good demand from biscuit company to produce ginger flavoured biscuits.

In Uganda the major outlets for Ginger include:

  • Owino Market
  • Nakasero Market
  • The Breweries.

Facts about ginger

  • Ginger originates from India and China
  • Ginger has been important in Chinese medicine for many centuries, and is mentioned in the writings of Confucius.
  • It is also named in the Quaran, the sacred book of the Muslims thus this indicates that it was known in Arab Countries back in 650 A.D.
  • Ginger was one of the earliest spices known in Western Europe, used since the ninth century.
  • It became so popular in Europe that it was included in every table setting, like salt and pepper.
  • A common article of medieval and renaissance trade, it was one of the spices used against the plague.
  • In English pubs and taverns in the nineteenth century barkeepers put out small containers of ground Ginger for people to sprinkle into their beer the origin of Ginger ale.
  • It is available in various forms of grated Ginger, Ground ginger, Sliced, Pickled in sweet vinegar or in a salt-sugar mixture.
  • Ginger can also be grown indoors and it makes a lovely and useful house plant if the right conditions are met.

Varieties available on the market
Basically there are two varieties

  • The land race (local) with small rhizomes
  • The hybrid with big rhizomes.

Areas that grow ginger

  • Mpigi District
  • Wakiso District
  • Masaka District
  • Kiboga District
  • Mukono District
  • Mubende District

Uses of the plant

  • Ginger has the following uses:
  • Ginger is most commonly known for its effectiveness as a digestive aid by increasing the production of digestive fluids and saliva.
  • Ginger helps relieve indigestion, gas pains, diarrhoea and stomach cramping.
  • Ginger root is also used to treat nausea related to both motion sickness and morning sickness.
  • Ginger’s anti-inflammatory properties helps relieve pain and reduce inflammation associated with Arthritis, Rheumatism and Muscle Spasms.
  • Ginger’s therapeutic properties effectively stimulate circulation of the blood, removing toxins from the body, cleansing the bowels and kidneys, and nourishing the skin.
  • Other uses for ginger root include the treatment of Asthma, Bronchitis and other Respiratory problems by loosening and expelling phlegm from the Lungs.
  • Ginger root may also be used to help break fevers by warming the body and increasing perspiration.
  • Ginger has long been said to have Aphrodisiac powers, taken either internally or externally. It is mentioned in the Karma Sutra.
  • In the Philippines Ginger is chewed to expel evil spirits.
  • It is a known Diaphoretic, meaning it causes one to sweat.
  • Used in instant Masalas.
  • Dried Ginger is a sort of a ready mix for all food preparations.
  • In the pharmaceutical industry, Ginger is used for extracting oleoresins.

Challenges
The challenges facing farmers include the following:

  • lack  of planting stock
  • Lack of capital to get inputs
  • Lack of marketing information resulting with farmers selling at low prices

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