Ginger is believed to be originated in East Asia and has historic records more than 3000 years. Ginger has been used as a spice from ancient times. It has been widely used in Chinese and in Ayurvedic medicine. There is information that says at the time of ruling of Emperor Nero the Roman army used ginger as a medicine. It was found that ginger was imported to the European countries as a spice by 1547 A.C. In recent years Ginger has been cultivated as a commercial crop in many countries. Countries such as China, India, Australia, Fiji, Hawai, Hongkong, Jamaica, Japan, Nigeria, Pakistan, West Africa, Taiwan are few countries which cultivate Ginger in a large scale.
Products and Uses
Ginger is available in market as fresh ginger or in dry form. Dried ginger is powdered and used for different products. Pickled fresh ginger is popular in East Asian countries and salted and sweetened ginger products are also commonly available in the Asian markets. Ginger oils and oleoresins are used in the food industry as a spice to flavor curries, bakery & other food products and to some extent in the perfumery industry, Also it is a common ingredient in the Ayurvedic medical system till today.
Major Growing Areas
Ginger is grown in all over the country but wet and intermediate zones are major growing areas. Total cultivated extent in 2007 was 6000 ha and Kurunagala, Kandy, Gampaha, Colombo and Kegalle were main growing areas. In the western province ginger is largely grown as an inter crop with coconut and as a home garden crop.
Several local and imported varieties are grown in Sri Lanka in large scale.
Local ginger – Rhizomes are small and the fibrous flesh is some what ash white in color. Ginger taste and aroma is comparatively higher than other species. Largely used for beverages.
Chinese ginger – Rhizomes are large with watery flesh. Flesh is pale yellow in color. The taste and aroma is low. Largely used for pickles.
Rangoon ginger- Rhizomes are medium in size and with well spreaded finger rhizomes.
Soils and Climatic needs
Well drained fertile sandy loam soils are the most suitable soil type.
Altitude – successfully grown in areas up to 1500MSL
Rain fall - Rain fall should be 1500 mm or more. If rain fall is low crop should be grown under irrigation.
P.H - should be 5.5 – 6.5
Medium shade is good for the successful growth
Ginger is a seasonal crop and the best time to cultivate ginger is between the middle of March and early April. Generally it takes 8-10 months to get yield. However in dry zone areas ginger is cultivated November-December season.
Matured lateral rhizomes are the most suitable planting material. Piece of rhizome should be 40-50g in weight and be with 6-8buds. Planting material should be disease free and selected from a high yielding cultivation. Before planting rhizomes should be immersed in a fungicide (captan) for about 5-10minutes to avoid fungal growth during planting..
Planting material requirement is 1500kg/ha.
Ginger is planted in raised beds or on ridges. Field should be ploughed up to 35-40cm in depth and tilling soil is done. Beds are 100cm in width and length is vary width the space available. However when inter cropped with coconut width and length can be changed according to the available space. Height of the bed is about 15cm and drains, with 50cm in depth, should be prepared in between beds.
Spacing – between rows – 30cm
between plants – 25cm
04 rows per bed
Planting depth - 5-7.5cm
Planting should be done after the rain. If no adequate moisture beds should be irrigated.
To protect moisture and to keep weeds under arrest mulching should be done immediately after planting. Straw, coir dust, dry leaves or coconut leaves are most suitable mulching material.
To add adequate Ca and Mg dolomite is mixed with the soil immediately after ploughing at the rate of 2 mt./ha. To get a higher yield saw dust ash also added to the soil at the rate of 3-4kg/sq, meter of the bed during land preparation period.
|Time||Organic fertilizer||Urea(kg)||TSP (kg)||MOP (kg)|
|Basal||At the time of planting||20 mt||100|
|1st app.||After 01 months||-||65||100|
|2nd app.||After 03 months||-||65||100|
Fertilizer is applied after weeding and should be mixed with the soil. After that beds should be mulched. Fertilizer is applied with rain or should be irrigated after fertilizer application.
In addition glyricidia leaves can be added as an organic fertilizer and thereby can cut down the need of chemical fertilizer and to protect the soil moisture.
Weeding has to be done after one month of planting. The second weeding is done after three months of planting and the beds should be mulched again to protect the moisture. Cleaning drains and earthling up also done with the weeding.
Harvesting and Post Harvest practices
Harvesting is done after 8-10 months of planting. If planted in March-April Season turmeric is ready to be harvested by December – January. During that time plants become yellow in color and start leaves drying. Harvesting is done with care not to damage rhizomes and attached soil clusters should be removed with a wooden stick.
Standard quality specifications
Medicinal and Chemical Properties
It is proven that man has used ginger as a medicine in the past. In many Ayurvedic remedies Ginger is a main commodity. Not only for common flue but it also works for high blood pressure and as an antidote for cancer.