General Manager of the Export Division at the Ministry, Byron Henry, told the government information agency that this will be done by increasing the number of ginger farmers across the island, particularly in the parishes known for cultivating the crop.
Mr. Henry said the Ministry is focusing on the tissue culture method in order to produce disease-free ginger plants for farmers, especially in the parishes of St. James, Portland, Manchester, St. Thomas and Clarendon.
To this end, the Ministry is collaborating with the Scientific Research Council (SRC) in the production of clean ginger plants, so that within a year, there will be enough disease-free planting material for farmers, including greenhouse operators.
“What we really need to do is to push the tissue culture production, so that we can provide clean seed materials for the farmers. What we are promoting is that the farmers do not replant what they have out in the field, but to visit a nursery or producer of tissue culture material and use that continuously to replenish their stock,” Mr. Henry urged.
He pointed out that Jamaica’s ginger production continues to suffer from the rhizome rot disease, which damaged the industry in the 1990s, although there was some level of recovery in 2013.
Mr. Henry said that there was currently a domestic demand for over three million pounds of ginger annually, while the demand for the product on the export market is way above that.
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