Ginger Farmers Loss N12bn to Disease as FG Inaugurates Control Taskforce


Ginger Farmers Loss N12bn to Disease as FG Inaugurates Control Taskforce

The Federal Government, on Monday, confirmed the outbreak of ginger blight epidemic in four states in Nigeria, adding that ginger farmers have lost over N12bn due to the disease.

It disclosed this at the inauguration of the National Ginger Blight Epidemic Control Taskforce in Abuja and revealed that the fungal disease had inflicted significant damage on ginger farms in Kaduna, Nassarawa, Plateau and the Federal Capital Territory.

The Minister of State for Agriculture and Food Security, Aliyu Abdullahi, said the blight had caused billions of naira in losses, impacting not only the livelihoods of farmers, but also Nigeria’s position as the world’s second-largest ginger producer.

“Our preliminary estimates suggested that affected farmers in southern Kaduna lost over N12bn.

“Furthermore, considering that over 85 per cent of Nigeria’s ginger cultivation occurs in this region, we can safely assume a substantial loss of cultivated land, potentially exceeding 70 per cent of total land,” he stated.

Abdullahi, however, stated that the Federal Government through the National Agricultural Development Fund would launch a N1.6bn recovery package for affected farmers in ginger-producing areas.

He said the ginger blight epidemic served as a stark reminder of the importance of preparedness in safeguarding agricultural resources, adding that by investing in research, extension services and farmer support systems, “we can build a more sustainable future for our agricultural sector.”

On his part, the Chairman of the task force committee, Abubakar Abdullahi, said there was no doubt that the blight on ginger had negatively affected the Gross Domestic Product earnings from this subsector.

“It is of necessity and great urgency that various subcommittees are put in place to forestall these negative effects,” he stated.

Abdullahi assured the minister of the commitment of the team to salvage the situation, as he pleaded with the minister to give the committee the power to co-opt members that would add value to the task force to discharge their duties efficiently and effectively.