Sunday, 14 May 2017


Ginger (Zingiber officinale) is aherbaceous perennial, the rhizomes of which are used as a spice. 
And grown in different parts of Tanzania Kilimanjaro, Mbeya,Iringa, Morogoro etc.

Climate and soil

Ginger grows well in warm and humid climate and is cultivated from sea level to an altitude of 1500 m above sea level. Ginger can be grown both under rain fed and irrigated conditions. For successful
cultivation of the crop, a moderate rainfall at sowing time till the rhizomes sprout, fairly heavy and well distributed showers during the growing period and dry weather for about a month before
harvesting are necessary. Ginger thrives best in well drained soils like sandy loam, clay loam, red loam or lateritic loam. A friable loam with a pH of 6.0 to 6.5 rich in humus is ideal. However, being an
exhausting crop it is not desirable to grow ginger in the same soil year after year. The crop performs well in a temperature range of 19°C- 28°C and a humidity of 70-90%.

Uses of ginger

 Ginger is used as a spice.
  • It is used for the preparation of Ginger oil and oleoresin.
  • It is used in the preparation of soft drinks, alcoholic beverages.
  • Green Ginger is used in the culinary preparations.
  • Preserved Ginger is used for the manufacture of processed food.
  • It is used as carminative and stimulant.

Land preparation

The land is to be ploughed 4 to 5 times or dug thoroughly with receipt of early summer showers to bring the soil to fine tilth. Beds of about 1 m width, 30 cm height and of convenient length are prepared with
an inter-space of 50 cm in between beds. In the case of irrigated crop, ridges are formed 40 cm apart. In areas prone to rhizome rot disease and nematode infestations, solarization of beds for 40 days using transparent polythene sheets is recommended.


Ginger is propagated by portions of rhizomes known as seed rhizomes. Carefully preserved seed rhizomes are cut into small pieces of 2.5-5.0 cm length weighing 20-25 g each having one or
two good buds. The seed rate varies from region to region and with the method of cultivation adopted, usually the seed rate varies from 1500 to 1800 kg/ha. At higher altitudes the seed rate
may vary from 2000 to 2500 kg/ha. The seed rhizomes are treated with mancozeb 0.3% (3 g/L of water) for 30 minutes, shade dried for 3-4 hours and planted at a spacing of 20-25 cm along the rows
and 20-25 cm between the rows. The seed rhizome bits are placed in shallow pits prepared with a hand hoe and covered with well decomposed farm yard manure and a thin layer of soil and leveled.


Mulching the beds with green leaves/organic wastes is essential to prevent soil splashing and erosion of soil due to heavy rain. It also adds organic matter to the soil, checks weed emergence and conserves
moisture during the latter part of the cropping season. First mulching is to be done at planting with 10-12 tonnes of green leave per ha. Second mulching is done at 40-60 days after first mulching with 5 tonnes
of green leaves. Farm yard manure is spread over the green leaves. In irrigated crop – raise cow pea and black gram as live mulches. Remove the mulches 60 days after sowing during rains. Castor seeds are sown on bunds at 9 m intervals, to serve as wind breaks. Mulching
has several advantages;
  1. Source of organic manure.
  2. Prevents washing of soil.
  3. Conserves soil moisture.
  4. Smoothers weed growth.
  5. Improves the physical properties of soil.
  6. Protects the setts and sprouts from hot sun.
  7. Provides favorable conditions for the sprouting of the setts.
Ginger is cultivated as rain fed crop in high rainfall areas (uniform distribution for 5 to 7 months) and irrigated crop in less rainfall areas where distribution is not uniform. Ginger requires 1300-1500 mm of
water during its crop cycle. The critical stages for irrigation are during germination, rhizome initiation and rhizome development stages.Thus in less rainfall areas the first irrigation should be done immediately after
planting and subsequent irrigation are given at intervals of 7 to 10 days in conventional irrigation (based on prevailing weather and soil type).
Sprinklers and drip system can also be employed for better water use efficiency and enhanced yield.


Weeding is done just before fertilizer application and mulching; 2-3 hand weeding are required depending on the intensity of weed growth. Proper drainage channels are to be provided when there is stagnation of water. Earthing up is essential to prevent exposure of rhizomes and provide
sufficient soil volume for free development of rhizomes. It is done at 45 and 90 days after planting immediately after weeding and application
of fertilizers.


  • For Green Ginger: 6 months after planting.
  • For Dry Ginger: 8 months after planting, when leaves turn yellow and start drying between 245 to 260 days.
  • Preserved Ginger: 7 months after planting. Before they fully mature, after which they become more fibrous. Light irrigation is given before harvesting. Dig the plants carefully. Soak them overnight. Wash thoroughly. Sundry for a day or two before marketing as green ginger.

Stage of harvest of ginger for various end uses 

End use                                                                                         Stage of harvest                                                                                    (months after planting)
Vegetable purpose and preparation
of ginger preserve, candy, soft drinks,
pickles and alcoholic beverages.                                                              5-6
Dried ginger and preparation of
ginger oil, oleoresin, dehydrated and
bleached ginger                                                                                      7-8

Processing of ginger

Processing of ginger to produce dry ginger basically involves two stages peeling of the ginger rhizomes to remove the outer skin and sun drying to a safe moisture level.


Peeling serves to remove the scaly epidermis and facilitate drying. Peeling of fully matured rhizomes is done by scrapping the outer skin with bamboo splits having pointed ends and this accelerates
the drying process. Deep scraping with knifes should be avoided to prevent the damage of oil bearing cells which are present just below the outer skin. Excessive peeling will result in the reduction
of essential oil content of the dried produce. The peeled rhizomes are washed before drying. The dry ginger so obtained is valued for its aroma, flavor and pungency.

The moisture content of fresh ginger at harvest is about 80-82% which is brought down up to 10% for its safe storage. Generally ginger is sun dried in a single layer in open yard which takes about 8 to 10
days for complete drying. The sun dried ginger is brown in colour with irregular wrinkled surface. The yield of dry ginger is about 19-25% of fresh ginger depending on the variety and climatic zone.

Polishing, cleaning and grading

Polishing of dried ginger is done to remove the dry skin and the wrinkles developed on the surface during drying process. It is generally done by rubbing against hard surface. Cleaning of dry ginger is done
manually to remove the extraneous matter and the light pieces. Once the ginger is cleaned and it is graded manually based on size of the rhizome, its colour, shape and the extent of residual lime (in the case
of bleached ginger).


Dry ginger, packaged in gunny bags are highly susceptible to infestation by insects like Lasioderma serricone (cigarette beetle) during storage. Fully dried rhizomes can be stored in airtight containers such as high density polyethylene or similar packaging materials. Long term storage for more than two years would result in deterioration of its aroma, flavor and pungency.

Average yield under rain fed condition is 10-15 tonnes per ha.
Average yield under irrigated condition is 15 – 25 tonnes per ha.

Green Agriculture Team


Green agriculture said...


Unknown said...

Asante sana kwa makala hii. I real love this site and I dont know why I didnt find it earlier. Nimevutiwa na hiki kilimo. Nataka kulima Iringa vijijini.Mvua ya kule ni kuanzia mwezi wa 11 hadi wa tano hivi.Swali langu kwa nyie waatalamu, je zao hili laweza kustawi mkoan Iringa? Sina wasiwasi sana na udongo, wasiwasi wangu ni hali ya hewa. Nitashukuru sana iwapo nitajibiwa.

AckySHINE said...

Nice article. I learn something







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