Based on the historic records more than 3000 years, ginger is believed to be originated in East Asia. 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 2019 was 1838 ha. Kurunagala, Kandy, Gampaha, Colombo and Kegalle Districts are main growing areas. ginger is largely grown as an inter- crop with coconut and as a home garden crop. Total production in 2019 was 13785 Mt.
Several local and introduced varieties are grown in Sri Lanka in large scale.
Local ginger – Rhizomes are small and the fibrous flesh is somewhat ash white in color. Pungency and aroma are comparatively higher than other ginger varieties. Largely used for beverages
Chinese ginger – Rhizomes are large in size with watery flesh. Flesh is pale yellow in color. The Pungency 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 1500 m MSL
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 September to October.
Planting material: Matured lateral rhizomes are the most suitable planting material. Piece of rhizome should be 30-40g in weight. Planting material should be free from pest & diseases and selected from a high yielding cultivation. Before planting seed rhizomes should be treated with a fungicide (Mancozebb80 % WP 30g/10Lwater) for about 30minutes to avoid fungal growth during planting.
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 105cm 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 22cm and a drain, with 45cm in depth should be prepared in between beds.
- between rows – 25cm
- between plants – 25cm
- 04 rows per bed
Planting depth – 4-10cm
Planting should be done after the rain. If no adequate moisture beds should be irrigated.
Mulching : 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.
Fertilizer application : 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.
Table 01 : Fertilizer recommendation
|Time||Organic fertilizer||Urea(kg)||TSP (kg)||MOP (kg)|
|Basal||At the time of planting||20 mt||100|
|1st application||After 01 months||–||82||42|
|2nd application||After 03 months||–||82||42|
Table 02 : Fertilizer recommendation for 3 ½ x10 plot (grams)
|Time||Organic fertilizer||Urea(g)||TSP (g)||MOP (g)|
|Basal||At the time of planting||10-12kg||50|
|1st application||After 45 days||–||41||21|
|2nd application||After 90 days||–||41||21|
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 : 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.
- Soft rot
- Bacterial wilt
- Leaf spot
- Soft rot
Causal organism – Pythium Spp
- Water soaked lesions on collar region of the pseudo stem at the Initial stage of infection.
- Soft rot symptoms found initially on rhizome and spreads gradually to roots
- The tips of the leaves appear as light-yellow color and then it is spread to the whole leaf. The middle portion of the leaves remain green color while the margins become yellowing in the initial stage of the disease.
- At severe cases , yellowing symptoms found in all leaves
- Use of healthy rhizomes in new planting.
- Seed treatment : Dip seed rhizomes in Mancozeb 80% WP (30g in 1 L water) solution for 30 minutes
- Solarization of beds, before planting.
- Maintain proper drainage.
- Remove infected plant – maintain proper sanitation.
- Drenching Mancozeb 80% WP (38g in 10L water) two times at 2 weeks
2. Bactirial wilt
Causal organism: Ralstonia solanecearum
- In the initial stage water-soaked lesions appear at the collar region of the pseudo stem and then they are progress both upwards through pseudo stem and downwards to rhizomes.
- Mild drooping and curling of leaf margins of lower leaf is the first prominent symptom of the disease and it is progressively spread through lower leaves to upper leaves. At the disease is more severe condition, yellowing and wilting symptoms can be seen.
- Milky ooze would be secreted from the affected pseudo stem and rhizome when they gently pressed by fingers. Bad odor emitted from the infected plant parts.
Non-chemical control methods
- Healthy rhizomes should be used for planting.
- The soil beds should be solarizing before planting and the field should not cultivated ginger more than two consecutive seasons and crop rotation should be taken place.
Chemical control methods
- When diseased ginger bushes are detected in the field, they should be removed from the field with soil.
- After that, 40 g of copper oxy chloride dissolved in 10 liters of water or 1% Bordeaux mixture should be drenched to all beds in the field (both infected and healthy) by using a watering can. Repeat this treatment after two weeks.
3. Leaf spot disease
Causal organism: Phylosticata zingiberi
- The symptoms of the disease start as water-soaked spot and later turns as a white spot surrounded by dark brown margins and yellow halo.
- The lesions enlarge and adjacent lesions coalesce to form necrotic areas.
- Cut & remove infected leaves , at initial stage
- Spray 1% Bordeaux mixture or Mancozeb 80% wp (25g in 10 L water)
Stem Borer Dichocrocis puncitiferalis
- The larvae of shoot borer feed on internal tissues of pseudo stems and it interrupted to translocation of water and nutrients. As a result of that infested ginger bushes shows the yellowing of and drying of leaves.
- When larvae presence inside of the pseudo stem, frases can be seen on the bore-hole in pseudo stem. Withering and yellowing of central shoot is a characteristic symptom of pest infestation.
- Practice the regular inspection of the crop. As well as, Keep the field good sanitation and avoid excessive use of nitrogen fertilizer.
- Take out the rotting shrubs (with “Mala goba”) and burn them with fire. Practicing this method can easily control the damage, without spraying chemicals.
Scale insect : Aspidiella bartil
- Scale insect colonies live on the surface of ginger rhizomes while sucking it. As a result of that ginger rhizomes become shrivel and ultimately the entire rhizome becomes dry. The germination percentage of the infested rhizomes is very less.
- If infestation occurred during the early stage of the crop, reduction of the tillering, growth retardation and yellowing can be observed.
- Ultimately, drying and death of the ginger bushes can be seen. Excessive use of nitrogen fertilizer and high soil moisture level are favorable for spreading the infestation.
- Use of healthy seed rhizomes and follow in the seed treatments by recommended insecticides can be done.
- For this purpose, seed rhizomes should be immersed for 10 minutes in an insecticide solution prepared by using 5 grams of thiamethoxam 25% granules dissolve in 10 liters of water or 2.5g of imidacloprid 70% granules dissolve in 10 liters of water.
- This 10 L solution is sufficient to treat 9 kg of seed rhizomes and it can be used to treat seeds only one time.
Harvesting and Post-Harvest practices
Harvesting is done after 8-10 months of planting. If planted in March-April Season, ginger 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.
The basic activities of ginger processing are washing, peeling and drying.
The rhizomes should be washed well removing sand in between the fingers. Ginger can be dried for one day and placed in polypropylene lined poly -sack bags to be issued to the market as raw ginger.
Ginger rhizomes should be soaked in water for one night and the outer skin can be removed carefully
Peeled ginger should be dried for about one week until the moisture percentage is 12%. Dried ginger can be stored in a polypropylene lined poly sack bag.
Value added products
- Dried ginger
- Bleached ginger (siddhi ginger)
- Ginger slices
- Ginger powder
- Ginger oil
- Ginger oleoresin
Preserved ginger products
- Sweeten ginger slices and salted ginger slices
- Ginger chutney
- Ginger paste
- Ginger in sugar syrup
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.