GINGER PROFILE

INTRODUCTION

Ginger is one of the oldest known spices in the world.

Botanical name of ginger is Zingiber officinale.

India is the largest producer of ginger in the world. India ranks first among dry ginger producers also. Other major producers of ginger in the world are West Indies, Brazil, China, Japan and Indonesia. Major ginger production centers in India are Kerala, Orissa, Andhra Pradesh, Himachal Pradesh, Meghalaya and West Bengal.

 CLIMATE

Warm and humid climate is most ideal for ginger cultivation. Ginger can be cultivated up to 1,500 m above MSL (mean sea-level), 300–900 m above MSL being the optimum altitude. Light rainfall at sowing and throughout its growing period helps in healthy growth of ginger plants. However a dry weather about one month before harvesting is required for healthy development of ginger rhizomes.

 SOIL

Soils rich in organic matter with good drainage capacity are ideal for ginger cultivation. Best suitable soils for ginger production are sandy or clayey loam, red loam and lateritic loam soils. Drainage is absolutely necessary for the prevention of disease incidence. Ginger should not be grown in the same site year-after-year.

VARIETIES

Cultivars for Andhra Pradesh: Local varieties such as Medak and Tuni

Cultivars for Arunachal Pradesh: Shillong

Cultivars for Bihar: Desi and Dorabhanya

Cultivars for Gujarat: Local types named after respective localities

Cultivars for Haryana and Punjab: Local types named after respective localities

Cultivars for Himachal Pradesh: Himachal No. 1, SG 666 (Dhariga local), SG 645 and Narag

Cultivars for Jammu and Kashmir: Himachal No. 1

Cultivars for Karnataka: Wynad, Manathodi, Narasapatam Thaiguppan and Karakkal

Cultivars for Kerala: Kuruppampadi, Wynad local, Valluvanad, Maran, Nadia, Maran/Lodi, Ernad, Thodupuzha, Rio-de-Janeiro, Jamaica Cultivars for Madhya Pradesh: Local ginger types found in Tikkamgarh, Chindwara and Baster districts

Cultivars for Maharashtra: Local types named after respective localities Cultivars for Manipur: Shing type, Thingpuri and Shingtam

Cultivars for Meghalaya: Nadia, Poona, Rio-de-Janeiro, Wynad, Thingpuri and Maran

Cultivars for Mizoram: Thingpuri, Maran and Rio-de-Janeiro

Cultivars for Nagaland: Rio-de-Janeiro

Cultivars for Orissa: Kuruppampadi, Wynad types, Local types viz., Kuduli, Laxipur, Turia Junagarh, Raikia, Suprapha and Surchi

Cultivars for Sikkim: Gurubathane, Bhaisey, Nadia, Rio-de-Janeiro and Thingpuri

Cultivars for Tamil Nadu: Rio-de-Janeiro, Maran, Nadia

Cultivars for Tripura: Himachal No. 1, Local types

Cultivars for Uttar Pradesh: Local types named after the localities

Cultivars for West Bengal: Gurubathan, Sambuk-A, Turuksadan, Malli, Rio-de-Janeiro, Thingpuri, Maran, Tura and Bombay Desi

CULTIVATION PRACTICES

Propagation

Propagation in ginger is through seed rhizomes or rhizome cuttings. Seed rhizomes must be treated with 0.3% Dithane M-45 solution for 30 minutes to control fungal diseases.

Seed rate

Rhizome bits of 15–20g @ 1,200–1,800kg are required for planting one hectare of field.

Land Preparation

Prior to planting, main field must be prepared well by adding organic manures or farm yard manures to enrich the soil fertility. Four or five ploughings are required to prepare the field for ginger planting. Manures may be incorporated into the soil during field preparation. Once field is ready, beds are prepared as rhizome cuttings are planted in raised field beds. Beds of 1m width, 15cm height and 3m length or of any convenient length are prepared at 40cm spacing. About 2,000 beds of 3m × 1m size are prepared in one hectare land. Since ginger is an irrigated crop, ridges must be constructed at 40 cm apart for facilitating irrigation. The optimum spacing is 30cm × 30cm under bed system of planting. A bed of 3m ×1m can accommodate 40 plants.

FERTILIZERS

Recommended fertilizer dose for ginger cultivation is 25–30 tons of farmyard manure (FYM) along with NPK @ 75: 50: 50 kg/ha. FYM is applied as a basal dose soon after planting. Whole of P2O5 and half of K2O may also be applied at the time of planting. Half of N is applied 40 days after planting and the remaining N and K2O is applied one month after that. Application of neem cake (2 tons/ha) as basal dressing helps reduce the incidence of soft rot of ginger and increases the yield.

Mulching

Mulching is an essential practice for ginger cultivation as mulching enhances germination, increases organic matter, conserves soil moisture and prevents soil erosion due to heavy rains. First mulching is done at the time of planting with 12.5 tons of green leaves/ha and the second after 40 days with 5 tons of green leaves/ha.

Weed Control

Two weedings are generally recommended. First weeding is done just before the second mulching.

HARVESTING

Ginger crop is ready for harvesting within 8 months of planting. If the crop is for green ginger or for the preparation of various processed products, crop may be harvested in 5–6 months. Ideal time for harvesting is when the leaves turn yellow and start drying

YIELD

Average yield is 15–30 tons/ha

POST HARVEST MANAGEMENT

Harvested rhizomes are washed thoroughly in water 2 or 3 times to remove the soil and dirt and afterwards these rhizomes are sun-dried for a whole day.

Preparation of Dry Ginger

Big, healthy, high quality green gingers are taken for the dry ginger production. Then the outer skin of each ginger rhizome is removed carefully with a special knife or split bamboos having pointed ends. Care must be taken while peeling the outer skin as only the outer skin is to be peeled since the essential oil of ginger remains near the skin. Peeled ginger rhizomes are then dried in the sun for a week to obtain dry ginger. The yield of dry ginger is 16–25% of the green ginger.

Storage of Green Ginger

Big, healthy rhizomes free from diseases are selected and are treated with a solution containing 0.05% of Malathion and 0.3% Dithane M-45 for 30 minutes. Drain the solution and dry the rhizomes under shade. Dried rhizomes are put in a pit of convenient size (2m × 1m) and covered with a plank fitted with 2–3 holes for aeration. In some areas, the rhizomes are loosely heaped over a layer of sand or paddy husk and covered with dry leaves in a thatched shed.

Processed Products of Ginger

Immature, tender and succulent green gingers are used for producing various processed products such as salted ginger, preserved ginger in sugar syrup or brine and dry and crystallized ginger.

USES OF GINGER

Ginger is an essential ingredient for many Indian food preparations. Ginger is used as a flavoring agent in soft drinks and beverages. Ginger is abundantly used in baking and confectionary industries also. Ginger is also used in preparing pickles and candies and ginger pickles are famous in India.

Health Benefits of Ginger

Ginger is recommended for the treatment of ovarian cancer as a natural remedy as it was scientifically proven that ginger powder has the ability to induce cell death in all ovarian cancer cells. This very same property of ginger makes it a useful natural remedy in the treatment of colon cancer also. In addition to this, ginger is recommended by ayurveda experts for the treatment of morning sickness, motion sickness, heart burns, inflammations, cold and flu, migraines, menstrual cramps, and similar other diseases.

Ginger Tea

Ginger tea has several medicinal properties and ginger tea is best for curing common cold, flu, indigestion, inflammation of internal organs and stomach pains.

How to prepare ginger tea

Take 2 teaspoon full of grated ginger and 2 cups of water. Boil the water in a sauce pan and then add grated ginger into the boiled water. Add a teaspoon full of lemon juice and a sweetener of your choice. Honey is recommended for the cases of cold and flu.