China produces more ginger than other SEA countries, and the productivity of ginger is the highest in the world. In general, the productivity is around 30 to 50 tons per hectare depending on the cultivars. However, much higher productivity has been reported. So there is a potential for increasing the average productivity of ginger and to lower the area under ginger cultivation while maintaining production levels, so that the pressure on the land can be reduced to some extent. There is also a potential for developing newer products, especially in the soft drinks sector, to replace the conventional ones, and with the medicinal properties of ginger being highlighted, such soft drinks can easily become health drinks. Such value addition programs can bring in much more revenue. Ginger is intimately associated with the food habits of China, Vietnam, Thailand, Japan, and other SEA countries, and hence it is all the more important to develop newer cultivars that are resistant to pathogens and insect pests. In the absence of seed set and conventional sexual reproduction in ginger, one has to exploit the genetic engineering tools to attain this goal.
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