Reports gathered that ginger production in Nigeria is currently threatened with the attack of a strange disease, destroying over 2,500 hectares of farmlands estimated at N10 billion across seven local government areas in Kaduna State.
The Executive Director/Chief Executive Officer of the Nigerian Export Promotion Council (NEPC), Dr Ezra Yakusak; Kaduna State Commissioner for Agriculture, Murtala Dabo and other stakeholders, who embarked on an assessment tour to the affected local government areas, described the incident as quite unfortunate.
Speaking at the end of the tour, Yakusak said the ginger destruction was a mysterious pandemic but assured the affected farmers of the Council’s support.
Yakusak said: “This is complete ruins. From what we have seen here, about 95 per cent of ginger has been wiped away in Kaduna; this will affect our non-oil export performance. There is a need to be worried; this is a pandemic. All hands must be on deck to do what needs to be done by channeling efforts on eradicating the disease.”
He disclosed that Nigeria is currently the fourth largest producer of ginger in the world, as the county’s remains the best because of its pungency “its strong aroma and high oil content, with what is happening in Kaduna State, the world market will be affected which is why we want to see how the Federal Government can intervene.”
The NEPC boss assured that the government would continue to support the ginger farmers by providing seedlings, building capacity for farmers’ interns on seed dressing adding that though it will not be an easy task it has to be done.
On his part, Dabo described the ginger pandemic as devastating and unprecedented, stating that Nigeria’s fourth position as the World’s ginger producer is threatened by an outbreak of fungi pathogens infection that wiped out over N10 billion worth of ginger covering 2,500 hectares of farmland in seven LGAs of the state.
The sole Administrator of Jaba local government council (one of the affected LGAs), Mrs. Nita Byack George, told newsmen that the ginger pandemic has inflicted maximum economic damage on the local government.
“It has affected the lives of individuals and the economy of my local government. There are some of our people who collapsed the moment they saw the devastating situation of their crops and a lot of families are in pain because ginger is the source of their livelihood,” she said.