Ghana: Ginger


Ginger Summary Fact Sheet

Average National output 2020

95 MT



Total area under Cultivation (Ha)

252 hectares 

Selina Wamucii insight, 2021. This data does not capture the entire area under cultivation (only areas harvested). There are new and emerging farms especially in the Ashanti and Volta Regions which have not been captured.

Suitable Planting Time

April-May in Transitional, Forest and Coastal Savanna Zones 

  • The ideal time is when rainfall has become regular. Planting before mid April will produce more uniform sprouting, better rhizome growth and development.
  • Under irrigation, it can be advanced for three months (February to March).


Planting Distance

25-45cm (0.25m-0.45m) between rows and 15-20cm (0.15-0.2m) within rows 

Density (Plant population per ha)

268,750 plants/ha

Fertilizer Application Rate per Ha

NPK 15-15-15

Apply  600 kg/ha (12 bags) of NPK 15-15-15 in 2 split applications; 5 bags at 3 weeks after sprouting and 7 bags at 3 months after planting.

Organic fertilizer  Cow dung, Poultry manure etc.

Apply 25-30 tons/ha of well-decomposed organic manure during land preparation. Broadcast and work into the soil before planting.

Common Varieties
  • Local: white type and yellow type
  • Export: Yellow Jamaican, Sierra Leonean 
Source of Planting Material
  • Exotic varieties - input dealers; Horticulture  Department, KNUST, Kumasi.
  •  Local varieties - established farms in the growing areas.
Potential Yield per Ha

25,000 Kg/Ha

Average Yield

5.0Mt/Ha - 15.0Mt/Kg



Key Risks in Ginger
  • Limited availability and access to improved planting materials
  • Pest and disease incidence
  •  Drought or dry spells
  • Declining soil fertility (continuous usage of land with no proper developments)
  • Low germination/ sprouting ginger setts
  • Low yield 
  • Poor storage facilities/high produce perishability
  • Cyclical shortages and glut
  • High perishability
  • Poor quality and irregular supply of ginger as raw material for processing
 Market & Trade
Extending Shelf-Life by Curing

Place rhizomes on racks, in a well-ventilated room for 3 - 5 days to allow all exposed tissues to heal and become firm.

Three (3) forms of Processed Ginger
  •  Fresh (green) root ginger
  •  Preserved ginger in brine or syrup
  • Dried ginger spice: 


Overview of Ginger Sector

Ginger, (Zingiber officinale) is a flowering plant whose rhizome, ginger root is widely used as spice and a folk medicine because its distinct sharp and hot flavour due to an oil substance called gingerol. It is an excellent source of dietary fibre, vitamin E (alpha-tocopherol), vitamin B6, iron, magnesium, manganese, potassium and selenium. Being aromatic and pungent, ginger adds a distinctive flavour to several food products and has been used as a common ingredient for centuries. Ginger can be processed into different versions such as paste, oil and powder. 

It is a herbaceous perennial which grows annual pseudostems (false stems made of the rolled bases of leaves) about a metre tall bearing narrow leaf blades. The inflorescences bear pale yellow with purple flowers and arise directly from the rhizome on separate shoots. Ginger is in the family Zingiberaceae, to which also belong turmeric (Curcuma longa), cardamom (Elettaria cardamomum), and galangal. 

Ginger originated as ground flora of tropical lowland forests in regions from the Indian subcontinent to southern Asia, where its cultivation remains among the world's largest producers, including India, China, and other countries of southern Asia. Numerous wild relatives are still found in these regions, and in tropical or subtropical world regions, such as Hawaii, Japan, Australia, and Malaysia.

Ginger produces clusters of white and pink flower buds that bloom into yellow flowers. Because of its aesthetic appeal and the adaptation of the plant to warm climates, it is often used as landscaping around subtropical homes. It is a perennial reed-like plant with annual leafy stems, about a metre (3 to 4 feet) tall. Traditionally, the rhizome is gathered when the stalk withers; it is immediately scalded, or washed and scraped, to kill it and prevent sprouting. 

Economic Importance

Medical research has shown that ginger root is an effective treatment for nausea caused by motion sickness or other illness and also contains many antioxidants. Powdered dried ginger root is made into capsules for medicinal use. Modern research on nausea and motion sickness used approximately 1 gram of ginger powder daily. 

The Natural Medicines Comprehensive Database (compiled by health professionals and pharmacists), states that ginger is likely safe for use in pregnancy when used orally in amounts found in foods. Ginger ale and ginger beer have been recommended as “stomach settlers” for generations in countries where the beverages are made. Ginger water was commonly used to avoid heat cramps in the United States in the past. Ginger has been used for thousands of years for the treatment of numerous ailments, such as colds, nausea, arthritis, migraines, and hypertension. The medicinal, chemical, and pharmacological properties of ginger have been extensively reviewed (Surh, Lee, and Lee 1998; Ernst and Pittler 2000; Afzal et al). It is been used to aid digestion as well. The unique fragrance and flavour of ginger come from its natural oils, the most important of which is gingerol. 

Research has also found ginger to be a powerful antioxidant. Ginger has also been shown in research to have a regulatory role in the natural inflammatory response of the body. In India ginger is applied as a paste to the temples to relieve headache. Ginger has also been commonly used to treat inflammation, although medical studies as to the efficacy of ginger in decreasing inflammation have shown mixed results. There are several studies that demonstrate very positive results on minimizing joint pain from arthritis and other inflammatory disorders. 

The characteristic odour and flavour of ginger root is caused by a mixture of zingerone, shoagoles and gingerols, volatile oils that compose about 1%–3% by weight of fresh ginger. The gingerols have analgesic, sedative, antipyretic, antibacterial, and gastro-intestinal tract motility effects. Like other herbs, ginger may be harmful because it may interact with other medications, such as warfarin; hence, a physician or pharmacist should be consulted before taking the herb as a medicinal agent or on a long-term basis. Ginger is also contraindicated in people suffering from gallstones, because the herb promotes the release of bile from the gallbladder. Ginger can also be used to prevent scurvy.

Ghana has a long history of producing ginger rhizomes for local markets and the forest areas of the Ashanti, Central, Volta, Eastern, Bono and Ahafo Regions are good areas for its production. Ginger production in Ghana has been steadily increasing over the last 20 years and has nearly doubled since the late 1990s. The country's climate allows for year-round production and producers are looking to the global market for buyers.

According to Knoema (2019), Ginger production in Ghana increased from 65 tonnes in year 2000 to 102 tonnes in year 2019, growing at an average annual rate of 2.43%. A 10-year (2010-2020) data from FAOSTAT on the volumes of ginger production in the country, confirms this information given by Knoema (figure 1).

                                                                                             Table 1: Percentage change in Ginger Production (Volumes)

2019102.002.00 %
2018100.002.04 %
201798.002.08 %
201696.002.13 %
201594.003.30 %
201491.001.11 %
201390.000.00 %
201290.002.27 %
201188.0011.39 %
201079.001.28 %
200978.002.63 %

                                                                                                                            Knoema (2019): Production Statistics 


                                                          Figure 1: Annual Ginger Production in Ghana




The trend in both production and area cultivated shows continuous and consistent increase annually. Especially for the area cultivated, between the year 2010 and 2019, there has been an increase of 22.5% (figure 2).  There has been massive propagation of the ginger crop as a result of high demand of the commodity from the beverage industries. Data provided by FAOSTAT did not capture most of the farming communities and established farms therefore the estimates of production and area cultivated reported by FAOSTAT very low. 

Research has proven that, per the varieties available in-country, one could obtain an achievable yield of not less than 20 MT/Ha putting in the best agronomic practices. At the farmers level, this could be lower especially if fertilizers and other important practices are not applied. Best practices in ginger production includes crop rotation or constant fertilizer application if the crop is continuously being cultivated on the same piece of land. However, yields recorded by farmers fields is as high as 15 MT/Ha.

Realizing the potential of ginger farming in the country , the government under the One District One Factory (1D1F) Programme, has approved for the establishment and rehabilitation/revamping of a ginger processing factories at Nsuta in Kadjebi District, Oti Region and Gyankoba, a farming community in the Atwima Nwabiagya district, Ashanti Region with the aim of strengthening the ginger value-chain.

In recent times, ginger production represents a significant opportunity with more demand than supply locally (Ghana). The growing demand has made ginger production a very lucrative business with diverse and growing markets. 

Until recently, farmers were faced with the perennial challenge of not accessing markets to get value for their produce. They had no option than to sell their ginger directly to traders because of the absent of ginger processing factory. 

While a huge economic potential exists for respective value chain actors, the system or sector faces many challenges from production, through processing to marketing which prevents it from reaching its full potential. Some of these challenges include relatively low productivity as a result of poor agronomic practices, post-harvest losses, diseases and pests incidence, poor or lack of processing and storage facilities etc. 


Ginger Value Chain

Value Chain and Key Actors 

The ginger value chain in Ghana even though not well developed and structured, it comprises a range of stakeholders, including farmers, aggregators, processors, exporters, marketers and transporters.

Production and processing remain very basic, with smallholders accounting for the majority of production and processing without much infrastructure the support for the various activities of the actors along the chain. 

The sector is not well-organized as compared to the grain and the legumes. It has limited or inadequate infrastructural support such as processing outfits, pack houses, haulage and modernized production inputs. There is however a strong scientific and research support for the crop, spearheaded by the Universities (eg. KNUST).

Input Provision

Planting  materials: Exotic varieties - input dealers; Horticulture  Department, KNUST, Kumasi. Local varieties - established farms in the growing areas.

Most of the farmers prepare their land manually though a few that have access to tractors and animal traction do use them for land preparation. 


Ginger is much cultivated in the forest areas of the Ashanti, Central, Volta, Eastern, Bono and Ahafo Regions. Smallholder farmers make up the majority of its production and most of these farmers produce on an area of about 0.2-1 hectare farms with low use of inputs and basic agronomic practices. Average yield estimates of freshly harvested ginger is between 5 and 15 MT/ha (data obtained from  interviews).

Gyankobaa in the Atwima Nwabiagya South Municipality of the Ashanti Region is the leading producer of ginger in Ghana, with more than 3,000 acres (1,200 hectares) of land under cultivation. An estimated 1,500 individuals are engaged in the cultivation of ginger on an average two-acre land each. Almost every household in Gyankobaa owns a ginger farm or two. 

The production figures given by FAOSTAT for 2019 was 102 tonnes and was forecasted to change by an average of 2%. Considering only Gyankobaa which cultivates about 1,200 hectares, it is expected that with an average or least yield of 5 MT/Ha, and all things being equal, a production of 6,000 MT should be obtained.

Presently according to FAOSTAT, Ghana is ranked 33rd among the world producing countries of ginger. Since 2014, Ghana Ginger Production grew 2.3% year on year. In 2019, the country was number 33 among other countries in Ginger Production at 102 MT. Ghana is overtaken by Puerto Rico, which was ranked number 32 with 106 Metric Tons and is followed by Pakistan at 52 Metric Tons. India ranked the highest with 996,041 Metric Tons in 2019, +11.5% versus 2018. China, Nigeria and Nepal respectively ranked number 2, 3 and 4 in this ranking. 


Processing of ginger is very low across all production areas. Farmers are faced with the perennial challenge of not accessing markets to get value for their produce. They had no option than to sell their ginger directly to traders because of the absent of ginger processing factory.                                                                                                    

The lack of storage facilities and a processing facility, often force most farmers to dispose of their produce at a cheaper price to avoid a total loss. Some farmers over the past years also refused harvesting so as to avoid losses. 

There are however a few processing activities ongoing at the local level in terms of drying, ginger powder making, blending of ginger with other spices among others. There is currently one factory under renovation at Gyankobaa in the Atwima Nwabiagya South Municipality of the Ashanti Region another one PENSKE Company Limited (PCL) being established at Nsuta in the Kadjebi District to help strengthen the ginger value chain. 

Example of companies using ginger as raw material

I Africa Industries LtdFire Ginger SpiceAccra
Ideal Providence FarmsLemon Ginger MarmaladeKpone
J-Nissi EnterpriseJ-Nissi Ginger ChipsGbawe, Accra
M2V VenturesM2V Spices Ginger PowderAccra

Product Attribute

Valued Characteristics

Critical Activities Contributing to those Characteristics

Pungency  Very hot/Spicy

Improved seed variety

 Post harvest handling

AromaStrong, spiced aroma

Improved seed variety 

Post harvest handling

TasteStrong acidity and spiciness

Improved seed variety

 Post harvest handling

Size of RhizomeMedium sized rhizome

Improved variety 

Agronomic practices and soil type

Sorting and grading

FreshnessNot shrunken, tender and juicy

Improved seed variety

Agronomic practices like land preparation & time of harvesting; Soil type like the texture of the soil


Physical AppearanceCleanliness

Soil Type

Post-harvest handling

Sorting and cleaning

AvailabilityAvailable all year round

Storage and Processing


Shelf Life

up to 1 month

Improved seed variety


Post-harvest handling



Usage and Consumption

The refreshing aroma and pungent taste of ginger makes it an essential ingredient in diverse world cuisines and the food processing industry. The solvent extracted, known as oleoresin, is available in consumer-friendly packages. Ginger powder is also an ingredient in many masala mixes. In Western countries, ginger is used for baked goods, soups, beer, and many other soft drinks. It is also widely consumed in the pharmaceutical industry, thanks to its numerous health benefits including antioxidant and anti inflammatory properties.


Key Agronomic Practices and their Importance


Good Agricultural/Husbandry Practice

Brief Description and importance

Planting Material/ Variety Selection


Ginger is vegetatively propagated from small sections of the rhizome, called settes. Settes are produced by cutting a small 3–6 cm from a living rhizome. Each piece should possess at least 2 living bud which will produce shoots. 

Ginger varieties differ in size and shape of rhizomes, yield, content, quality, pungency and flavour.  Ginger has several varieties grown in different growing areas across the country. Suitable varieties are grouped into the following:

  • Local: white type and yellow type
  • Export: Yellow Jamaican, Sierra Leonean selection.

The main sources of planting material are the established farms in the growing areas. Planting materials of the exotic varieties are obtainable from input dealers and the Horticulture Department, KNUST, Kumasi.

Varieties are selected based on their distinctive characteristics. Select varieties that would meet the demand, consumers preference and productivity. Eg. Pungency, high yielding, tolerance/resistance to important diseases, etc. Selection of a variety should also be based on weather information and preferred agro-ecology. Select healthy rhizomes with sprouts or eyes just before planting. Cut into pieces with 3-4 sprouts each.

Choose suitable soils

Ginger does well in slightly acidic to neutral, well-drained soils rich in nutrients and organic matter especially sandy loam soil. Lime soils with pH lower than 5. Select land with a gentle slope. Avoid waterlogged or imperfectly drained soils as they retard shoot growth. 

A soil test is recommended to determine the soil pH and the amount of limestone and fertilizer needed for optimum crop growth.

pH and Sanitation

Ginger plants require mildly acidic soils for healthy growth and rhizome production. Ensure that your soil pH is between 5.5 and 6.5. If the soil pH is too high or too low, it will interfere with ginger growth. Lower the soil pH by applying composted manure, or increase the pH with calcium carbonate or dolomite to achieve optimal pH. Good clean soil is also important for healthy ginger. Make sure that the soil is sanitized and free from pests, or fungal pathogens and parasites, such as root knot nematodes.

Agro Climate Conditions



The crop requires constantly hot (25-350C) and moist climate with a well-distributed annual rainfall of at least 1300-1500mm occurring mainly in the 9 months of the crop’s growth. The forest areas of the Ashanti, Central, Volta, Eastern, Bono and Ahafo Regions are good areas for ginger production.

Choose sites that have no history of pest and diseases, especially soft rot and bacterial wilt. Fallow the land for at least three years before planting with ginger. Make sure the area will not be contaminated by other farms on higher ground, whether by soil or water run-off. Check for contaminants that may affect ginger cultivation. Do not locate ginger plots near livestock operations or areas where animal waste can contaminate them.

Land Preparation

Good land preparation is critical for sprouting and plant establishment. It also reduces weed competition. Prepare land such that soil is loose and  well aerated, has good moisture holding capacity and free of weeds.

To produce well-shaped rhizomes, thoroughly clear bush, remove root stumps, plough deeply and harrow. 

Three Land Preparation Methods

  1. Bed: Raise beds 1.2-1.8m wide
  2. Ridges: Rotavate and make ridges (banks) 60 - 90 cm (2 - 3 ft) high and 60 - 90 cm (2 - 3 ft) apart (Figure 2)
  3. Flat land: Ginger can also be grown on the flat.

On slopes, plough along the contours to minimise soil erosion

Practise no-till where suitable. No burning and ploughing.

How to grow Ginger in Uganda
Young Ginger  on hill



The ginger sets can be pre-sprouted in pots or nursery seed beds by covering with a layer of soil or they can be planted directly at the final planting location. The bed should be prepared for planting by digging to soil to a fine tilt and removing any weeds that are present. The addition of lime to the soil adjusts the pH while helping to provide the calcium required by the plants during their growth. The setts should be planted early when the rains have settled at a depth of 5–12 cm, leaving 15-35 cm between plants and 25-30 cm between rows. 

Plant settes with the growing buds facing up. Within 3 - 6 weeks after planting the shoot can be seen above ground, provided that the soil is moist. 

Preparing your ginger setts/seeds

Use setts with at least two or more viable buds. Dip in EPA approved fungicide solution, air-dry and store for a day or two before planting. 

Select  healthy planting material, free from signs of pest and disease, mature, firm and not dried or shrivelled.

Soak the rhizomes in clean water for 10 - 12 hours to stimulate sprouting. Cut the rhizomes into 5 cm (2 inches) settes with a few growing buds.

Soak the settes in a copper based fungicide and insecticide/nematicide solution for 10 minutes, drain, air-dry store for a day or two before planting.

Note: Yields are not affected by sette size.

The settes are sown directly or nursed and transplanted 4-8 cm deep when the rains start.

Sprouted ginger sette ready to be planted

The number of seed to plant per hill

You need about 1500-2000 kg/ha settes (2.5-5 cm long cured rhizomes). Plant one sett per hill.

Plant spacing in ginger: 25-45 cm between rows and 15-20 cm within rows (about 268,750 plants/ha).


Mulch with non-seeded dry grass, rice husks, dried cocoa husks or plastic mulch to conserve moisture and control weeds. 

First mulch should be spread at planting.

Mulching should be practiced to conserve moisture in the soil around the plant and also keep weed growth down.

Earthing up 

- To avoid exposure of rhizomes to the sun, earth-up as and when necessary. (Note: no need under no-till when there is mulch cover).

- Earthing up should begin when the shoots are approximately 30 cm (1 ft) high and should continue every 2 months throughout the life of the crop

- The ginger rhizome develops a greenish colour when exposed to sunlight because of the development of chlorophyll.  Earthing up  is therefore recommended.

Soil should be periodically hilled (moulded) in the plant row to ensure vertical growth. This would overcome the tendency of the ginger rhizome to grow horizontally.

Supplementary Irrigation

Where rainfall is not evenly distributed and depending on the type of soil, irrigate lightly but evenly every 4-7 days.

Water is needed to keep the soil moist throughout the life of the crop. However, too much water and lack of proper drainage cause the rhizomes to rot.

Soil moisture is critical at the time of planting to prevent the sprouts on the settes from dying and the planting material from drying out.

Provide light irrigation during vegetative growth stage.

Pest and Disease Management


There are several kinds of pests and diseases that attack ginger during production. They include the following:

Insect Pests of Ginger

  • White Grub or Khumlay Holotrichia spp.
  • Shoot borer (Conogethes punctiferalis)
  • Shoot boring weevil (Prodioctes haematicus)

Diseases of Ginger

  • Bacterial wilt or Prem Rog (Ralstonia solanacearum)
  • Soft rot or Paheli (Pythium aphanidrematum)
  • Dry rot (Fusarium and Pratylenchus complex)
  • Leaf spot / blight (Phyllostricta zingiberi)

Pests control in Ginger

Although there are no serious pests due to the pungent nature of the crop, cutworms, aphids, root-knot nematodes, stem borer, African black beetles and rodents sometimes attack the shoots or roots. Practice IPM or apply EPA approved chemicals.

Disease control in Ginger

Diseases like bacterial wilt, leaf spot, fusarium and pythium rot, soft rot and cork rot can attack the plants. However, you can effectively control them by practising strict hygiene, use of bio-agents like (Trichoderma), improving drainage and ensuring proper sett dressing with EPA approved fungicides before planting.

Soil Fertility Management


Ginger has a high nutrient demand from the soil, hence the need for fertilizer application (Nishina et al., 1992). 

It is advisable to test the soil and use soil analysis report as a guide for fertilizer application. A general recommendation is to apply 25-30 tons/ha of well-decomposed organic manure during land preparation or apply a total of 600 kg/ha (12 bags) of NPK 15-15-15 in 2 split applications, 5 bags at 3 weeks after sprouting and 7 bags at 3 months after planting.

If your soil is lacking in organic matter, or if you are using a store-bought potting mix, stick to a regular fertilization schedule for your ginger plant. Some ginger plants suffer tip rot, in which the tip of the rhizome begins to decay. This indicates a lack of calcium in the soil; therefore, a calcium amendment may be necessary. When adding fertilizers and supplements in areas of high rainfall, remember that rainwater pulls and leaches applications from the soil; therefore, try not to fertilize ginger plants directly before a rainstorm.

Weed Management


Effectively control weeds by handpicking during the growing season or practice shallow weeding to avoid damaging plants.

Weeds compete directly with plants and reduces yield. 

Practice of managing weeds that damage crops is very essential. Such measures include:

  • altering the planting dates or crop rotation
  • good agronomic practices and cropping system etc.
  • Hand weed using cutlass or hoe
  • Control weeds within the first 3 months
  • Combine different cultural practices for effective control of weeds.

Ginger Cropping Systems


Crop rotation in ginger production

Two or more crops grown alternately on the same land can result in significant yield improvement. 

Rotate ginger with leguminous crops or unrelated crops. We recommend a 5-year rotation plan. This means, after one season of ginger production, you may do ginger again on that same piece of land after 5 years.

Advantages of crop rotation include:

  • Improved soil fertility
  • Complementary use of nutrients
  • Better pest and disease control
  • Organic matter restoration and
  • Improved soil physical properties.

Harvest Management


Harvesting ginger

Sign of Maturity: The tops start dying and dislodging. 

Ginger is ready for harvesting 5-9 months after planting.  

Ginger is harvested manuallyHarvest the rhizomes by hoeing the field or beds or by use of fork. Or by toppling the ridges.  

The crop can be harvested at two different stages of maturity (young and mature).

Young ginger is referred to the rhizome harvested at an early stage between 5 - 7 months after planting. At this stage the rhizome has not developed high fibre content.

For export market, harvest ginger for the fresh export market earlier (about 7 months). However, young ginger dehydrates easily and should be protected from direct sun.

This ginger is not recommended to be used as planting material, since it dries out quickly and does not produce good quality shoots.

Mature ginger is harvested 8 - 9 months after planting. At this stage the foliage (leaves) turns yellow and starts falling to the ground and the rhizomes are firm and glossy.

Take care not to bruise or injure the rhizomes during harvesting.  

Yield of ginger

The yield before drying is about 15-20 tons/ha. That is about 300-400 bags of the 50 kg bag.

RHIZOME GINGER ROOT PRODUCTION IN HAWAIT M. S. Nishina, Extension Agent,  ffiTAHR, Hawaii County D. M. Sato, Extension Agent, Ill
Harvested Ginger



Post-harvest handling of ginger

Ginger must be harvested at the mature stage (8 - 9 month)to extend its shelf life and maintain its quality.Harvested ginger must be placed in cool area away from direct sunlight. Exposure to sunlight scorches the ginger and increases the heat within the produce. Remove soil from around the rhizome: wash with clean water, air dry in a well ventilated shaded area and then allow for the curing process to take place.

Place rhizomes on racks, in a well-ventilated room for 3 - 5 days to allow all exposed tissues to heal and become firm before it is sold. This process is referred to as “curing”.


Key Risks Along the Ginger Value Chain and Mitigation Measures


Value Chain ActionsKey Risks and ChallengesMitigation Measure

Input Supply


Limited availability and access to improved planting materials

- Ginger seed multiplication by farmers

- Buy from reputable research institutions- Horticulture Department KNUST, Kumasi


Lack of access to financial support and facilities from the banks and financial institutions



-  producers and processors to develop bankable proposals/business plans

-  strong linkages among actors to establish trust

Identify market and off takers before production and meet quality requirement of the market

 High interest rates

- Provision of incentives

- Interest subsidies

ProductionLack of rights over land and access to lands to farm

- Support for women to have access to communal lands.

- Empower women to be effective in the aggregation and processing along the chain

 Pest and disease incidence

- Select and use disease tolerant varieties

- Treat setts in EPA approved fungicides, nematicides 

- Altering planting dates

- Use of IPM technologies

- Crop rotation to reduce fungal and nematode population.

Incidence of drought or dry spells



- Use tolerant (climate sensitive) varieties

-  use of irrigation technologies

- Conservation agriculture

Declining soil fertility (continuous usage of land with no proper developments)

- Use appropriate recommended plant and soil nutrition.

- Practice crop-livestock farming system if possible

- Rotate with leguminous crop

Low germination/ sprouting ginger setts

- use setts with at least 2 buds (eyes)

- Ensure good moisture in the soil

- make sure the setts are not exposed to sun. This kills the buds.

Low yield 

- choose the right variety

- Use right setts size of 5cm (2 inch) with at least 2 buds

- a sandy clay loam or sandy loam soil will encourage better rhizome shape and size. 

- Manage soil fertiity using appropriate inorganic fertilizer and organic manures at the righ time

- Maintain soil moisture through mulching and irrigation 

Post-harvest handling

Poor storage facilities/high produce perishability




- improvement of shelf life : harvest at the mature stage (8 - 9 month) to extend its shelf life and maintain its quality. 

- Place harvested ginger in cool area away from direct. Exposure to sunlight scorches the ginger and increases the heat within the produce.

- Curing: place rhizomes on racks, in a well-ventilated room for 3 - 5 days to allow all exposed tissues to heal and become firm before it is sold. 

- Promote the processing of ginger into other products

- Grading and sorting

- Establish strong linkages between producers, processors and industrial consumers

  • Difficulty entering the international market due to aflatoxin accumulation and other toxins
  • High quality standard demand by importers
  • Dry the rhizome properly
  • Use Aflasafe in order to reduce the amount of toxins
  • Implementation  (HACCP-based) food safety management system
  • Comply with the requirement of importing country such as Quality Minima Document by the European Spice Association (ESA), British Retail Consortium (BRC), International Featured Standards (IFS), Food Safety System Certification 22000 (FSSC 22000),  the Safe Quality Food programme (SQF) and by the American Spice Trade Association (ASTA). 

Cyclical shortages and glut


- Create strong linkages among actors especially producers and processors

- Encourage staggering of planting

ProcessingLimited product varieties/value addition meeting consumer preference- Encourage product diversification
 Limited/inadequate processing facilities- Investment into the installation of processing facilities in the major growing areas
Poor quality and irregular supply of ginger as raw material

- Harvest at the right time to reduce ginger becoming fibrous and meet age of ginger rhizome needed for processing

- Earth up  rhizome to prevent sun turning the ginger green

Establish out/in grower scheme and stagger production ensure regular supply of quality ginger raw material to feed the factory 


High demand and competition from some beverage industries


- Develop more varieties and specific varieties for industry.

- Government support required for crop intensification to increase scale of production


Major Pests & Diseases

Major Pest of Ginger and their Management

Although there are no serious pests due to the pungent nature of the crop, cut worms, aphids, root knot nematodes, stem borer, African black beetles and rodents sometimes attack the shoots or roots. Diseases like bacterial wilt, leaf spot, fusarium and pythium rot, soft rot and cork rot can attack the plants. 

Insect Pests of Ginger

  1. White Grub (larvae of beetle)

It is a sporadic pest, sometimes causes serious damage. The grub feeds on the roots and newly formed rhizomes. The infestation is generally more during August-September. 


  • The entomophagous fungus Metarrhizium anisophilae can be mixed with fine cow dung and then applied in the field to control the grubs.
  • In endemic areas opt for soil application of neem cake @ 40 kg/ha before sowing.

2. Shoot/stem borer 

The larvae bore the tender pseudostem and reach the central portion by feeding on the internal tissues, thus resulting in yellowing and drying of shoots. Infestation may occur from June to October. 

Stem borer attack 


  • Spray Nimbicidine (2-5ml/l) or Beauveria bassiana@ 2-5ml/l


3. Shoot/stem boring weevil 

The grubs bore into the pseudostem and cause dead hearts. 

Picture of a boring weevil


  • Remove alternate host plants such as turmeric.
  • The congregating adult beetles can be collected and destroyed.
  • Spray Nimbicidine @ 2-5ml/l or Carbofuran 3G granules @ 30 kg/ha immediately after mother rhizome extraction.


Major Disease of Ginger and their Management

1. Bacterial wilt 

It is the most serious disease in ginger production. The leaf margins of the affected plant turn bronze and curl backward. The whole plants wilt and die. The base of the infected pseudostem and the rhizome emit foul smell. When the suspected pseudostem is cut and immersed in a glass of clean water, milky exudates will ooze out from the cut end. Typical symptom is the wilting observed during afternoon in young seedlings.


Infected plant and rhizome


Seed contamination is the major source of infection. Hence, procure only healthy rhizome from disease free area. Treat the seed with Streptocyclin (20g/100 litre water). Remove the affected clumps and drench the soil with copper oxychloride 0.2%.

2. Soft rot 

It is a serious seed as well as soil borne disease. Yellowing of leaves appear first on the lower leaves and proceeds to upper leaves. Roots arising from the affected rhizome become rotten and show brown discoloration of the rhizome tissue. 

Sometimes the pseudostem comes off easily with a gentle pull. The rotten parts attract other fungi, bacteria and insects particularly the rhizome fly. 

During the rainy season, this disease spreads very fast from infected field to healthy field.

Soft rot of Ginger, a serious problem in Ginger crop



Symptoms of soft rot


Avoid water logging. At the time of sowing, treat the rhizome with Bordeaux mixture (1%) and again with Trichoderma @8-10-gm/litre water.

Remove the badly affected plants and drench around the infected plants, after slightly removing of soil with Bordeaux mixture (1%) or copper oxychloride @ 2g/1 litres of water.

3. Dry rot 

It is a fungus-nematode complex disease. In contrast to rhizome rot, dry rot appears in field in small patches and spreads slowly. The affected plants appear stunted and exhibit varying degree of foliar yellowing. Older leaves dry up first followed by younger ones. 

In advanced stage the rhizome, when cut open, show a brownish ring and is mainly restricted to cortical region. The pseudostems of the dry rot affected plants does not come off with a gentle pull in contrast to soft rot. The affected rhizomes are shrunken, dry and are not marketable.


Soil application of mustard oil cake at the rate of 40 kg/ha before sowing in furrows can check the nematode problem. Hot water treatment (51OC for 10 min) followed by seed treatment with Bordeaux mixture (1%) effectively checks the problem.

4. Leaf spot / blight 

Small spindle to oval spots appears on younger leaves. The spots have white papery centres and dark brown margins surrounded by yellowish halos. The spot later increases in size and coalesce to form larger spots which eventually decrease the photosynthetic area. In the case of severe infection, the entire leaves dry up.

Leaf Spot of Ginger | Pests & Diseases
Symptoms of Leaf spot/Blight


Spray Bordeaux mixture (1%) 3-4 times at 15 days interval with the initiation of the disease. Good control is achieved by growing the crop under partial shade.

General Integrated Pest and Disease Management for Ginger

  • Field hygiene is more important to manage the pests and diseases:
  • Avoid water stagnation, 
  • Provide adequate drainage, 
  • Remove weeds periodically, 
  • Apply only well-rotted Farm Yard manure (FYM) compost and thoroughly incorporate it in the soil, 
  • Apply dolomite @ 2 t/ha before sowing to increase soil pH, 
  • Sow ginger in raised beds of at least 25-30 cm height and provide mulching with leaves 
  • Follow crop rotation of 2 to 4 years depending on the incidence and severity of the diseases.
  • Use good quality rhizome for sowing.
  • Procure disease free seeds from disease free area.
  • Before sowing, treat the rhizome in hot water (51oC for 10 min) and again in solution of Bordeaux mixture 1% for 15 min. Add Streptocyclin (20g/ 100 l water) if bacterial wilt is also a problem. Dry the rhizome in shade and then sow. If cut rhizome are to be planted, they should be treated after cutting.
  • Once the diseases are spotted in the field, remove the affected clumps and drench the soil with Bordeaux mixture 1% at 15 days interval.
  • Diseased plants should be identified while the crop is in field. Rhizomes from such plants should not be selected for the seed purpose.
  • Mechanical collection and destruction of grubs, weevils, larvae and adult beetle periodically will reduce the incidence of insect pests. If white grub is predominant, apply Nimbicidine @ 2-5 ml/ l.  However, they can be effectively controlled by practicing strict hygiene, use of bio-agents like (Trichoderma), improving drainage and ensuring proper sett dressing with EPA approved fungicides before planting.

Root-knot nematodes (Meloidogyne spp).

If the plants are infested with nematodes, they become stunted. Small water-soaked lesions may also appear in the rhizome and further destruction of the tissues is caused by other organisms.

Management and Control of Nematodes

  • Select  healthy, pest-free  planting material.
  • Soak  the  planting  material  in  a systemic insecticide/nematicide solution for 10 minutes,drain and then plant.
  • Practice proper field sanitation and crop rotation.
  • Treat the soil before planting, and while the crop is growing, with a soil acting insecticide/nematicide.



Market Information


Ginger production represents a significant opportunity with more demand than supply locally (Ghana). The growing demand has made ginger production a very lucrative business with diverse and growing markets. 

The young ginger rhizomes which are juicy and fleshy with a mild taste are often pickled in vinegar or sherry as a snack or cooked as an ingredient in many dishes. They can be steeped in boiling water to make ginger herb tea, to which honey may be added. 

Ginger can be made into candy eg Akono, Ahomka or ginger wine.

Powdered dry ginger root is typically used as a flavoring for recipes such as gingerbread, cookies, crackers and cakes, ginger ale, and ginger beer.   

In Western cuisine, ginger is traditionally used mainly in sweet foods such as ginger ale, gingerbread, ginger snaps and parkin. A ginger-flavored liqueur called Canton is produced in Jarnac, France. Ginger wine is a ginger-flavored wine produced in the United Kingdom, traditionally sold in a green glass bottle. Ginger is also used as a spice added to hot coffee and tea.

This creates an opportunity for Ghana to increase production for both home consumption and foreign markets since the demand is high and enormous.    

While the local markets prefer fresh ginger, products for the international market are exported in their dried form.

The price of ginger varies between different times of the year. The price of fresh ginger is high during its off season, April to July and October to November, and is low during the full harvest season from December to February. Seasonal variation in prices indicates that if the farmers manage to stock their products for three to four months, they will get much higher prices during the off-season. 

Ginger Market in Europe

The largest buyer of dried ginger in Europe is the food-processing industry with 75-90 of the market, followed by retail, foodservice and food ingredients (additive segments).

The Netherlands, Germany and the United Kingdom form the top-3 markets considered to be most interesting for dried ginger in Europe. The Netherlands ranks first only because the country is an important European trade hub for spices, while Germany and the UK are the two largest consumer markets in Europe for dried ginger. The UK is traditionally the largest market in Europe because of the large Asian diaspora living in the country, whose main dishes use high amounts of ginger.

Leading European Importers of Dried Ginger

Source: CBI

End market segments for ginger in Europe

Source: CBI

         Trade channels for dried ginger in Europe

Source: CBI


Crop Cycle for Ginger














Transitional, Forest and Coastal Savanna Zones



































  • PP - Pre-planting (Land preparation)
  • P – Planting
  • CP/M - Cultural Practices/Maintenance (Weed control, Pests/diseases control, fertilizer application, Irrigation etc.)
  • H -Harvesting
  • PH – Postharvest (Cleaning, Washing, Drying, Bagging)
For a comprehensive copy of Ghana's Cropping Calendar, email: 


Ginger Processing and Value Addition for Ginger


Ginger is usually available in three different forms: 

  • Fresh (green) root ginger: Fresh ginger is usually consumed in the area where Fresh ginger it is produced, although it is possible to transport fresh roots internationally. Both mature and immature rhizomes are consumed as a fresh vegetable.
Fresh Ginger
  • Preserved ginger in brine or syrup; . Preserved ginger is only made from immature rhizome Preserved gingers. Making preserved ginger is not simple as it requires a great deal of care and attention to quality. Difficult to compete with well established producers of preserved ginger.
  • Dried ginger spice: Dried ginger spice is produced from the mature rhizome.  As the rhizome matures the flavour and aroma become much stronger. Dried ginger is exported, usually in large pieces which are ground into a spice in the country of destination. Dried ginger can be ground and used directly as a spice and also for the extraction of ginger oil and ginger oleoresin.

Processing dried ginger 

There are two important factors to consider when selecting ginger rhizomes for processing: 

  1. Stage of maturity at harvest:  Ginger rhizomes can be harvested from about 5 months  after planting. At this stage they are immature. The roots are tender with a mild flavour  and are suitable for fresh consumption or for processing into preserved ginger.  After 7  months the rhizomes will become less tender and the flavour will be too strong to use  them fresh. They are then only useful for drying. Mature rhizomes for drying are  harvested between 8 and 9 months of age when they have a high aroma and flavour. If  they are harvested later than this the fibre content will be too high.
  2. Native properties of the type grown. Gingers grown  different parts of the world can  differ in their native properties such as flavour, aroma and colour and this affects their suitability for processing. This is most important when preparing dried ginger, which needs rhizomes with a strong flavour and aroma. Size of rhizome is  an important factor to consider when drying ginger – medium sized rhizomes are the  most suitable for drying. Large rhizomes often have a high moisture content which causes problems with drying.

Making dried ginger Making dried ginger 

Dried ginger is available in a number of different forms – the rhizomes can be left whole or they  may be split or sliced into smaller pieces to accelerate drying. Sometimes the rhizomes are  killed by peeling or boiling them for 10 to 15 minutes, which causes the rhizomes to become  blackened. They have to be whitened (bleached) by treating with lime or sulphurous acid. The  only product which is acceptable for the UK market is cleanly peeled dried ginger. 

The process for dried ginger: 

  • The fresh rhizome is harvested at between 8 to 9 months of age.
  • The roots and leaves are removed and the rhizomes are washed.
  • The rhizomes have to be ‘killed’ or inactivated. This is done by peeling, rough scraping or  chopping the rhizome into slices (either lengthwise or across the rhizome). The skin  should be peeled off using a wooden scraper made from bamboo to prevent staining the  rhizome. Whole unpeeled rhizomes can be killed by boiling in water for 10 minutes.
  • After peeling and washing, the rhizomes are soaked for 2-3 hours in clean water then soaked in a solution of 1.5-2.0% lime (calcium oxide) for 6 hours. This produces a  lighter coloured (bleached) rhizome. After soaking, the rhizomes are drained.
  • The rhizomes are dried. The traditional method is to lay the pieces on clean bamboo mats or on a concrete floor and sun-dry until a final moisture content of 10%. Drying may take anything from 7 to 14 days depending upon the weather conditions.
  • During drying, the rhizomes lose between 60 and 70% in weight.
  • In rainy conditions, a mechanical drier such as a tray drier should be used to accelerate  the drying process. Sliced ginger pieces take only 5-6 hours to dry when a hot air drier is used. Whole peeled ginger rhizomes take about 16-18 hours to dry in a mechanical drier. It is important to monitor the air flow and temperature during drying. The drying temperature should not exceed 60°C as this causes the rhizome flesh to darken.
  • After drying, the rhizomes are cleaned to remove any dirt, pieces of dried peel and  insects.  An air separator can be used for large quantities, but at the small scale it is probably not cost effective.
  • The dried rhizomes should be packaged into air-tight, moisture proof packaging for storage or export.
Dried Ginger

Quality assurance of dried ginger 

Quality of the dried ginger is assessed by the appearance of the final product (colour, lack of mould or aflatoxin) and the aroma and flavour. 

These qualities are influenced by a combination of pre- and post-harvest factors: 

  • The most important factor is the cultivar of ginger used as this determines the flavour,  aroma, pungency and levels of essential oil and fibre.
  • The stage or maturity of the rhizome at harvest determines its suitability for end use.
  • Rhizomes that are 8-9 months old produce the best quality dried ginger as they have a  good combination of aroma and pungency and not too much fibre.
  • After harvest the rhizomes should be handled with care to prevent injury. They should be  washed immediately after harvest to ensure a pale colour. The wet rhizomes should not be allowed to lie in heaps for too long as they will begin to ferment.
  • Care should be taken when removing the outer cork skin. It is essential to remove the skin to reduce the fibre content, but if the peeling is too thick, it may reduce the content of volatile oil which is contained near the surface of the rhizome.
  • During drying the rhizomes should lose about 60-70% of their weight and achieve a final  moisture content of 7-12%. Care should be taken to prevent the growth of mould during drying.
  • The use of a mechanical drier produces a higher quality, cleaner product. The drying  conditions can be carefully controlled and monitored and the time taken to dry is  considerably reduced.
  • After harvest, the cleaning, peeling and drying processes should be carried out as quickly as possible to prevent the growth of bacteria and mould and to prevent fermentation. If the drying process takes too long there is a risk of the ginger becoming infected by aflatoxin or other fungus.
  • Dried ginger should be stored in a dry place to prevent the growth of mould. Storage for a long time results in the loss of flavour and pungency.

Forms of Dried Ginger



Peeled, scraped, uncoated 

Whole rhizome with the corky skin removed

Rough scraped 

Whole rhizome with the skin partially removed

Unpeeled, coated 

Whole rhizome with the skin intact

Black ginger 

Whole rhizome scalded before being scraped and dried


Whole rhizome treated with lime of diluted sulphuric acid

Splits and slices 

Unpeeled rhizomes, split or sliced


Second growth rhizomes, small, dark and very fibrous

Quality requirements 

The Quality Minima Document published by the European Spice Association (ESA). This document is leading for the national spice associations affiliated with the ESA and for most key buyers in Europe.

The Quality Minima Document  specifies the chemical and physical parameters dried that ginger needs to comply with when sold in Europe before crushing and grinding (after drying):

  • ash: maximum 8%
  • acid insoluble ash: maximum 2%
  • moisture: maximum 12%
  • volatile oil: minimum 1.5 ml/100 gr
  • SO2: maximum 150 ppm

The ESA has not developed cleanliness specifications. As a result, European buyers often use the specifications for cleanliness stated by the American Spice Trade Association (ASTA).

Ginger oil distillation 

Ginger oil can be produced from fresh or dried rhizomes. Oil from the dried rhizomes will contain fewer of the low boiling point volatile compounds (the compounds that give ginger its flavour and aroma) as these will have evaporated during the drying process. The best ginger oil is obtained from whole rhizomes that are unpeeled. Ginger oil is obtained using a process of steam distillation. The dried rhizomes are ground to a coarse powder and loaded into a still. Steam is passed through the powder, which extracts the volatile oil components. The steam is then condensed with cold water. As the steam condenses, the oils separate out of the steam water and can be collected. In India the material is re-distilled to get the maximum yield of oil. The yield of oil from dried ginger rhizomes is between 1.5 to 3.0%. The remaining rhizome powder contains about 50% starch and can be used for animal feed. It is sometimes dried and ground to make an inferior spice.