Re-rooting Jamaican ginger to the world

Saturday, November 24, 2018

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FOR years, Jamaica has tried to reconnect its ginger to the world market with little success, but as the country fights the Ginger rhizome Rot disease that has stunted its progress, the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations Representation for Jamaica, The Bahamas and Belize says there are plans to support the value-added aspects of the root.

In a release yesterday, it said 20 of Jamaica's experts met to identify solutions for a cohesive and efficient ginger value chain during a three-day technical workshop convened from November 19-21, 2018 in Mandeville, Jamaica.

The Value Chain Development Workshop, the release said, engaged experts from divisions of the Ministry of Industry, Commerce, Agriculture and Fisheries (MICAF), the private sector and research entities, in interactive training sessions geared towards developing a more systematic approach to working with and managing multiple stakeholders involved in the ginger value chain.

The discussions led to a preliminary ginger value chain analysis and practical suggestions that will inform the country's Ginger Value Chain Upgrading Strategy, including identification of the strategic partnerships and inclusive business models that will need to be considered, the release said.

Michelle Sherwood, deputy research director of the Bodles Research Station, expressed that “the workshop filled a number of knowledge gaps on the value chain development process and shed light on how the ginger value chain can be strengthened”.

She added that “the workshop offered a more holistic understanding of the concerns of various stakeholders and how the ministry can better support the production of ginger beyond the provision of clean ginger planting material”.

The knowledge and training materials gained from the workshop are expected to support the ongoing work of a Ginger Value Chain Coordinating Committee and MICAF's efforts in employing value chain approaches to various present and developing industries within the country.

According to the release, Jamaica's ginger industry has long suffered from the terrible impacts of the Ginger rhizome rot disease.

As a former top producer of high-quality ginger, the Government expressed an interest in resuscitating the root's status and vitality on local and international markets through the development of a Ginger Value Chain Upgrading Strategy. Through one of its Technical Cooperation Programmes, FAO said it has been providing technical support to the value chain analysis, planning and coordination process and the refurbishing of a greenhouse at the Bodles Research Station for the production of disease-free ginger plantlets.

FAO said it has also convened several consultation and training workshops, including the certification of stakeholders in the production of clean, quality ginger planting material.

This week's workshop is a next step in identifying how an understanding of the principles and processes to coordinate stakeholders behind a common vision of industry development can support the revitalisation of the ginger sub-sector and promote sustainable ginger production to further strengthen the nation's economy and regain a strong presence on the global market.

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