Farmers in Kaduna Lost Over N12bn to Ginger Blight Epidemic

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 The Federal Government has announced that farmers in Kaduna State lost over N12 billion to ginger blight disease that attacked ginger farms in some northern states last year.

Minister of State for Agriculture and Food Security, Senator Sabi Abdullahi, who disclosed this while inaugurating a National Ginger Blight Epidemic Control Taskforce in Abuja on Monday, said ginger farmers in Nasarawa, Plateau, Kaduna and Federal Capital Territory, Abuja suffered great losses last year as a result of the epidemic.

He said the National Ginger Blight Epidemic Control Taskforce is to tackle the devastating fungi disease which has inflicted much damage to ginger production in the states.

Abdullahi said the international market demand for Nigerian ginger stands at $6.29 billion by 2030 from $4.16billion in 2013.

The minister said apart from the economic loss, the epidemic has affected NIgeria’s position as the second largest producer of ginger in the world.

According to him, “Our preliminary estimates suggest that ginger farmers from Southern Kaduna lost over 12 billion. It will interest you to know that 85 percent of ginger production takes place in this region.”

He assured that the Federal Government would support ginger farmers to prevent future recurrence, adding that the livelihoods of the affected farmers would be provided with relief materials to cushion the impact of the damage on the commodity.

He revealed that N1.6 billion Recovery Funds would be launched on Wednesday this week in Kaduna State to support farmers in the ginger producing states.

The National Taskforce is made up of researchers, extension service agents, farmers and other critical stakeholders drawn from the agricultural value chain.

The minister underscored the need for Nigeria to have strong preparedness in the areas of research and farmer support system to build a rosy future for Nigeria’s agricultural system.

Abdullahi further appealed to Nigerian farmers to avoid importation of seeds without going through the Nigeria Agricultural Quarantine Service (NAQS), to forestall importation of crop diseases into the country.

Responding, the Chairman of the National Ginger Blight Epidemic Control Taskforce, Engr. Abubakar Garba Abdullahi, Director, Federal Department of Agriculture, assured that the Taskforce would resuscitate the ginger sub-sector as the epidemic has affected the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of the country.

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