Ginger farmers in Kadjebi optimistic of bumper harvest despite disease

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-Ginger Farmers in the Kadjebi District of the Oti Region are optimistic of a bumper harvest this year despite the outbreak of a strange disease that destroyed their farms during the 2023 farming season.

gingerA strange disease suspected to be fungal infection affected large tracks of ginger farms across the district last year, leaving farmers with apprehension and hopelessness.

Samples of the affected plants and rhizomes had been sent to the Pokuase Agriculture Research Centre for investigation and confirmation of the actual disease.

Although the disease is yet to be confirmed and solutions professed, farmers in the district were hopeful of bumper harvest because of favourable rainfall and a more conducive climate for good yields.

Mr. Mutakilu Tsadenu, Assemblyman of Obuase and Butabe Electoral Area, whose two-acre ginger farm had been destroyed by the disease last season, told the Ghana News Agency (GNA) that the disease was likely not to happen this year.

He said though most farmers might not plant as they had lost their investment, the few, who could cultivate the commodity would get a good harvest.

Mr. Tsadenu, who intended planting one-acre ginger farm this season, was optimistic of a bumper harvest because of the favourable rainfall pattern.

Madam Victoria Tormeti, a ginger farmer at Tormeti Kofe, told GNA that she had already planted a half-acre farm and was confident of a good yield.

She said they could not avoid planting the product because their livelihood depended on it.

Madam Tormeti appealed for financial support to scale-up production to avert possible scarcity of the commodity in the market.

She said most farmers would not cultivate this year because of the setbacks, so if care was not taken, there would be scarcity of the commodity.

Mr. Francis Agorson, a 51-year-old farmer at Poase-Cement, who cultivated a one and half acre ginger farm last year, planned to plant two acres this year.

He told the GNA that the seed he had already planted were flowering well and that had prompted him to expand the farm because there was hope for a bumper harvest.

Mr. Agorson, who has been cultivating ginger for eight years now, said the challenge they were facing was lack of seedlings and the cost.

He said 70KG bag of ginger rhizomes sold at GH¢500.00 and they were finding it difficult to buy.

He thus appealed to the Government to support them with loans, which they were ready to pay after harvest.

Mr. Agorson said the hope of the youth in the district was ginger farming from which they feed their families, pay school fees for wards and build houses, adding that financial support from government would keep them in business.

Mr. Masawudu Mutawakil Malamfari, a Ginger farmer at Titiaka, on the other hand, told GNA that he would plant maize instead of ginger because he was afraid the disease might attack the farms this season too.

“The way the disease destroyed our farms last season, I will not plant ginger this season,” he said.

By Daniel Agbesi Latsu, GNA

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