Note: Analysis based on the method followed by Librero et al. (1988).

Note: Analysis based on the method followed by Librero et al. (1988).

in production was at the rate of 6.11% during the same period, indicating a slight improvement in productivity, which was approximately 1.82% for the period.

Production Constraints

A status paper prepared by the Spices Board (1990) on the ginger crop highlights the fact that mostly small and marginal growers cultivate ginger in India. They face many problems and constraints that hamper the productivity of ginger. Major production constraints in ginger cultivation as given by various workers including the Spices Board of India (Kithu, 2003; Sarma and Jackson, 2003; Selvan and Thomas, 2003) are:

1. Low productivity (3,391 kg/ha) compared to an achieved average productivity of more than 1 lakh kg/ha elsewhere in the world.

2. Prevalence of an innumerable number of traditional cultivars, which are mostly poor yielders. Absence of an adequate supply of quality planting materials of improved cultivars.

3. Being a predominantly rain-fed crop, failure of rains and increased labor costs are some of the factors responsible for the higher cost of cultivation of ginger in India.

4. Nonadoption of integrated plant protection measures to control pests and diseases such as rhizome rot causes heavy production and postharvest losses in the crop in many parts of the country.

5. Lack of suitable postharvest processing for ginger rhizomes and poor marketing facilities, especially in the northeastern states of the country, results in poor returns to the farming community.

6. Lack of remunerative prices in subsequent years leads to less enthusiasm to cultivate ginger or leads to neglect of the crop.

Keeping the above facts in mind, there is an urgent need to develop cropping systems with ginger as a component. Although it is being cultivated as an intercrop in coconut and arecanut plantations, we are yet to develop ideal systems with attention to the cost—benefit factor, soil disturbance, shade and root effect, and other factors.


In China, ginger is grown extensively in all central and southern provinces. It is cultivated as an annual or as a perennial crop. China emerged as the second largest producer of ginger during the year 2002 (23.98% of the world production) after India. During 1990, China's production was 54,284 tons, accounting for 11.05% of the total world production. Within 10 years time the production level has increased more than four times to account for nearly one-fourth of the world production. This achievement is mainly because of the high productivity of 115,104 kg/ha, and the highest recorded level (120,641 kg/ha) was in 1996.

In international trade China also enjoys the first position due to the quality of Chinese ginger; less fiber content, bigger size, and price competitiveness. China occupied first position in exporting ginger from 1994 (52.05% of total exports) until 2000, accounting for 61.59% of the total world exports. Chinese exports accounts for 61% of the annual imports of more than 91,000 tons by Japan. Other importing countries also prefer Chinese ginger for its cheap price and acceptable quality parameters.

Ginger is also exported in crystallized form in earthenware jugs and in syrup in wooden kegs. Harvesting of ginger in China starts in April and extends into June. Harvested young ginger is transported to processing plants in Chiang Rai for export; mostly to Japan. Young ginger is preserved in bottles of vinegar and eaten like pickles.


Commercial cultivation of ginger in Australia was first started at Buderim in southeast Queensland in the early 1940s, mainly for the domestic fresh ginger market. Ginger is now grown in the Caboolture, Nambour, and Gympie areas for processing at Yandina. Twenty-four growers currently represent the Australian ginger industry with approximately 150 ha under cultivation. The bulk of production is processed, with smaller volumes being sold on the domestic and exports markets. Buderim Ginger Ltd. is the only ginger-processing facility in Australia. This factory, through production quotas and a differential pricing system, controls the quality and quantity of ginger production for processing. Most growers derive the majority of their income from processed ginger. A few also supply the domestic fresh ginger market, and only two to three growers export fresh product. In 1987, Royal Pacific Foods began exporting Buderim ginger to the United States. Now the Australian products under the brand name "the Ginger People," are freely available on the shelves of many well-known food chain stores the world over. The Australian ginger farmer has achieved a reasonably higher productivity against the world average (Table 12.7).

Table 12.7 Ginger yield in Australia


Time of harvest

Yield t/ha


Late Feb.—early March

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