National Ginger Workshop To Pave The Way Forward

Over the years, Fiji’s ginger industry has provided employment, sustained our farmers’ socio-economic livelihood, contributed significantly to our export earnings, and has been the main source of income for our local ginger suppliers and retailers.

These were the remarks by Minister for Agriculture and Waterways, Honourable Vatimi Rayalu when opening the National Ginger Workshop in Suva on Thursday 7 March, 2024.

The workshop was facilitated by the Ministry of Agriculture and Waterways in collaboration with the Australia and New Zealand funded Pacific Horticultural and Agricultural Market Access Plus (PHAMA Plus) Program to address key issues and discuss ways to strengthen Fiji’s existing ginger pathways to Australia.

Speaking to stakeholders, farmers and processors, Hon. Rayalu said in 2022, the Total National Domestic Export Earning was $1.3 billion dollars and the Agricultural Sector contributed $927.5 million, accounting for 68%.

“The Agricultural Sector’s contribution was attributed to the production and sales of crops, livestock, fish and fish products, forest products, sugar and sugar products, water, alcohol, and other food products. The value of exported fresh/chilled crop and livestock commodities continues to surpass the $100 million mark since 2020 with an average annual growth rate of 13.3% per annum in the last 5 years (2018-2022),” said Hon. Rayalu.

Ginger (only fresh, green) is the fourth highest export earner among fresh, chilled non-sugar agriculture exports. The ginger export volume for 2022 was 1,219.3 tonnes – a 5.4% decrease as compared to 2021 and an export value of $6.9m – a positive growth of 8.9% as compared to 2021.

“There are currently 750 registered ginger growers in Fiji, producing both for the domestic and international markets. The growers are only planting two varieties of ginger – white ginger and pink ginger and the majority of the production is in the Central Division,” added Hon. Rayalu.

Ginger is a successful export commodity with good demand for fresh ginger in the USA, Europe, Australia, New Zealand and Asia, with export earnings for the last six years growing steadily from FJD10.16Million in 2016 to FJD 13.99 million in 2021. Fresh ginger is the third highest export earner for Fiji among fresh/chilled non-sugar agriculture exports.

Exports of value-added ginger (e.g processed brine, ground or crystallized) have also increased from 574 tonnes in 2013 to 1,301 tonnes in 2021, representing increased opportunities for Fiji’s ginger industry. The US, Australia and NZ remains the main destinations for both fresh and value added ginger.

“For instance, Australia imported 980 tonnes of ginger (fresh/chilled and value added) from Fiji in 2021 and this was the largest market for ginger, followed by Netherlands and New Zealand,” Hon Rayalu said.

“I wish to congratulate PHAMA Plus and the organisers of this auspicious event for providing a platform for stakeholders to join hands in creating a sustainable and resilient future for ginger and all its actors along its value chain.”

Hon Rayalu added that to ensure that Fiji’s Ginger Sector continues to flourish, the Fiji Government through the Ministry of Agriculture and Waterways continues to provide support to our farmers and processors.

“In the 2023-2024 Financial Year budget, $600,000.00 was allocated for the Ginger Farming Programme. In this programme, farmers are supported with land preparations, farming materials, and agro-inputs,” added Hon. Rayalu.

“In addition, the Ministry also initiated a Food Processor and an Exporter Support Programme specifically for our exporters. This initiative provides a 2/3 assistance up to $100,000 per recipient and assistance includes the provision of ginger sterilization juice machines or value-adding machines.”

Hon. Rayalu added that the meeting was long overdue and believed that concerted efforts and collaboration would go a long way.

“It will create a network that will empower us to further develop our ginger industry and also establish the platform for coordinating as a team to promote and access regional and international markets for Ginger and Ginger products,” added Hon. Rayalu.

Hon. Rayalu urged all stakeholders to foster collaboration, adopt sustainable and innovative ideas, and work together as valuable players along the ginger value chain to achieve the best approach for the ginger sector.





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