Centers of Cultivation

Ginger is not known to occur in the truly wild state. It is believed to have originated in Southeast Asia, but was under cultivation from ancient times in India as well as in China. There is no definite information on the primary center of domestication. Because of the easiness with which ginger rhizomes can be transported long distances, it has spread throughout the tropical and subtropical regions in both hemispheres. Ginger is indeed the most widely cultivated spice (Lawrence, 1984).

The main ginger growing countries are: India, China, Jamaica, Taiwan, Sierra Leone, Nigeria, Fiji, Mauritius, Indonesia, Brazil, Costa Rica, Ghana, Japan, Malaysia, Bangladesh, Philippines, Sri Lanka, Solomon Islands, Thailand, Trinidad and Tobago, Uganda, Hawaii, Guatemala, and many Pacific Ocean islands.

India and Other South Asian Countries

India is the largest producer of ginger; the annual production is about 263,170 tons from an area of about 77,610 hectares, contributing approximately 30 to 40% of the world production. The productivity is low, at about 3,428 kg/ha. Out of the total production, 10 to 15% is exported to about 50 countries around the world. The crop occupies the largest area in the state of Kerala (19%), followed by Orissa (17%) Megha-laya (12%), West Bengal (12%), and Arunachal Pradesh (6%). Kerala and Meghalaya together account for nearly 40% of the country's production (Table 1.3). In terms of productivity, Arunachal Paradesh stands first with 7,164 kg/ha, followed by Meghalaya (5,139 kg/ha), Mizoram (5,000 kg/ha), and Kerala (3,428 kg/ha). During 1999-2000 India exported 8,773 tons of ginger valued at Rs. 306 million, out of which dry ginger contributed Rs. 199.2 million.


In Nigeria large-scale cultivation of ginger began in 1927 in southern Zaria, especially within Jemma's federated districts as well as in the adjoining parts of the plateau. Nigeria has tried to widen the genetic base of the crop through introduction of ginger cultivars,

Table 1.3 Area under ginger cultivation in the world

Ginger area harvested (ha)

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