From Noah Ebije, Kaduna

The National Agricultural Development Fund (NADF) Executive Secretary, Mohammed Abu Ibrahim, said the Federal Government, through the NADF, is providing support valued at N1.6bn input package to ginger farmers in three states, including the Federal Capital Territory.

The input support is under the GRATE package, which is the Ginger Recovery Advancement and Transformation for Economic Empowerment (GRATE).

He disclosed this at the Launch of Ginger Blight Epidemic Control Taskforce support Initiative supported by the office of the Vice President held in Kaduna on Wednesday.

According to him, 15,000 ginger farmers from Kaduna, Plateau, Nasarawa, and the Federal Capital Territory were affected by the recent ginger blight epidemic in the country.

According to him, this happens when the country has started witnessing considerable growth in ginger export.

Abu said the National Bureau for Statistics (NBS) reports that revenue from ginger export increased by 17% to hit N10bn in Q2 of 2023 compared to N4.6bn over the same period in 2022.

According to him, it is in response to the epidemic crisis that this task force was set up.

“At the first instance, the Federal Government through the NADF is providing support valued at N1.6bn starting out with 1 ha input packs appropriately named the GRATE package, which is the Ginger Recovery Advancement and Transformation for Economic Empowerment.

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“The recent ginger blight epidemic, while affecting an estimated 15,000 farmers across Kaduna, Plateau, Nasarawa States, and the FCT, came at a time our country had started to see considerable growth in ginger exports,” he said.

He explained that the support package to be given to the governor contains 1pc 20kg bag of high-yield seed variety, 4pcs 50kg bags of NPK fertilizer, 2pcs 50kg bags of urea, 2pcs 1kg bag of fungicide.

Others are 1pc 1ltr of insecticide, 2pcs 1 litre of herbicide, 1pc 2 litre of post-emergence herbicide.

He said the team is eager to see ginger being grated in rural communities again in the immediate term.

In her remarks, Technical Assistant on Agriculture office of Vice President Marian Moon said the presidency is taking the issue of agriculture and ginger farming very seriously as part of the government’s renewed agenda program.

According to her, many countries, among them Mexico, are busy trying to grow Nigerian Ginger because it’s one of the best in the world.

She also urged farmers to increase ginger production in the country.

The State Governor Uba Sani represented by his Deputy Hadiza Sabuwa Balarabe commended the federal government for its support to the affected farmers in the state.

He described ginger in the State as one of the best in the world urging them to be more dedicated to their farming business.