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Agriculture Ministry Ready To Support Ginger Farmers

As the planting season for ginger approaches the Ministry of Agriculture is calling on farmers to seek and request the support services of extension officers at their nearest locality to
28 Aug 2015 14:18
Agriculture Ministry Ready To Support Ginger Farmers
Lakena Field Office staff with the harvested mature ginger in 2014. Photo: DEPTFO News

As the planting season for ginger approaches the Ministry of Agriculture is calling on farmers to seek and request the support services of extension officers at their nearest locality to ensure that quality ginger is being produced for overseas and local consumption.

The ministry officials stand ready to provide support services on seed treatment of ginger to reduce the risks of destructive pests such as nematode and secondly help farmers prepare for export purposes.

Senior agriculture officer (Naitasiri) Adriano Tabualevu emphasised the importance of seed treatment in ginger for the export market in particular the pathway to Australia that opened last year.

“The market is available and meeting their standards is important and the Ministry of Agriculture is here to help farmers in achieving these standards,” he said.

“Whether to produce ginger for Local or Export markets, it is advisable to seek assistance from the nearest Agriculture Office on seed treatment,” he said.

Nematodes are a form of disease that cannot be seen through the human eye and is found in soil. They infest on ginger if not treated and this becomes a major constraint to farmers which then affect the market quality of the crop.

Ginger plants when infected exhibit stunting, reduced vigor and tillering and visibly cause yellowing in the plant.

According to Mr Tabualevu, the Ginger Seed treatment assistance is part of the ministry’s ginger development programme to help farmers with the production of quality and nematode-free ginger.

The programme also involves multiple components of farming such as capacity building, provision of agro-inputs, support services such as seed treatment, seed materials and training for farmers.

“It will not only help in the export but clarify the goodness of production and reflection of individual ginger farmers,” he said.

In 2014, farmers from Waidina, Lomaivuna, Vuna, Navuakece, Lutu, and Matailobau have been benefitting from this ginger programme earning them approximately $2.4million production in sale.

The planting season is normally from September to October.

 

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