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July 25, 2024

Farmers Lose N12bn  to Ginger Blight Epidemic in Four States

…FG Inaugurates National Ginger Blight Epidemic Control Task Force

The Federal Government has officially acknowledged the outbreak of a ginger blight epidemic in four states, resulting in significant losses amounting to over N12 billion for ginger farmers. 

This revelation was made during the inauguration of the National Ginger Blight Epidemic Control Taskforce in Abuja.

The Minister of State for Agriculture and Food Security, Aliyu Abdullahi, revealed that the fungal disease had ravaged ginger farms in Kaduna, Nassarawa, Plateau, and the Federal Capital Territory, impacting both farmers’ livelihoods and Nigeria’s status as the world’s second-largest ginger producer. Preliminary estimates indicated that affected farmers in southern Kaduna alone incurred losses exceeding N12 billion.

Abdullahi emphasized the severity of the situation, noting that over 85 percent of Nigeria’s ginger cultivation occurs in the affected region, potentially resulting in a loss of cultivated land exceeding 70 percent of the total. 

However, to mitigate the impact of the epidemic, the Federal Government, through the National Agricultural Development Fund, will launch a N1.6 billion recovery package for affected farmers in ginger-producing areas.

Highlighting the importance of preparedness in safeguarding agricultural resources, Abdullahi underscored the need for investment in research, extension services, and farmer support systems to ensure a more sustainable future for the agricultural sector.

Chairman of the task force committee, Abubakar Abdullahi, emphasized the adverse effects of the ginger blight on the Gross Domestic Product earnings from the subsector. 

He stressed the urgency of establishing various subcommittees to address the negative impacts of the epidemic. 

Abdullahi assured the minister of the team’s commitment to resolving the situation and requested the authority to co-opt members who would enhance the effectiveness of the task force in discharging its duties.

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