Ginger is an important spice crop of the world .Its scientific name is Zingiber officinale.Its a valuable cash crop and plays an important role in aurvedic medicines in India .It has been used for cleaning body through perspiration,to calm down nausea,and to stimulate the appetite.Ginger tea is used as carminative and in the symptomatic treatment of colds.Ginger contains gingerol, an oleo resin that accounts for the characteristic aroma and therapeutic properties.Components of gingerol posses beneficial properties for the treatment of poor digestion,heart burn,vomiting and preventing motion sickness.
Climate and soil
Ginger requires tropical,subtropical and humid climate for its commercial production.It can be successfully grown to an altitude of 1500mt.A well distributed rainfall during growing season and dry season during the land preparation as well as before harvesting is required for good growth and
yield of the crop. Dry weather with a temperature range of 28-30 degree Centigrade for about a month before harvesting is ideal . High humidity throughout the crop period is necessary. Ginger prefers good garden soil, rich in humus, light, loose, friable, well drained and of at least 30 cm depth. Rhizome growth is better on slightly acidic soil.
Most promising varieties of ginger are Himgiri,Varad,surbhi,suruchi,Ernas,Nadia,Maran,Rio de jenerio and China.
In northern India, planting of Ginger is done on the onset of monsoon. In Eastern India planting is done in the month of march.The method of land preparation depends on the soil and climatic conditions.Usually beds of 1.0 mt width ,15 cm height, and 6-7 metre in length with 30 cm wide channels between beds are made. Ginger is universally propagated from cutting of Rhizome known as bits. A direct relationship has been established between size of planting material and final yield. Bits should be 3-5cm in the length, 15- 20gm in weight and at least one sound bud .A seed rate of 15-20 Quintal per hectare is considered to be optimum for planting. Before planting bits should be treated with fungicide like carbendazim and mancozeb by dissolving the 30 gm of powder in 15 litres of water as a safeguard against soft rot and to induce early sprouting.The spacing for planting of the ginger should be kept 25-45 cm between rows and 15-20 cm between plants.
Manures and Fertilizers
Well rotten FYM or compost at the rate of 25-30 ton/hectare should be applied at the time of planting. The amount of inorganic fertilizer depend upon the fertility of the soil and organic manure used. It ranges between 100-120 kg nitrogen, 75-80 kg of phosphorus and 100 -120 kg of Murat of potash.It is advisable to add 20-25 kg of elemental sulphur at the time of land preparation to correct the deficiency of sulphur which is increasing in Indian soils. Half of nitrogen and entire quantity of phosphorus and Murat of potash should be given as basal.Rest of the nitrogen should be split in two doses as top dressing at the 45 and 90 days after planting.
Shade and mulching
One row of maize in every inter row space of ginger with maintenance of 100% maize population and application of additional fertilizer to maize additional yield of ginger can beobtained. Mulching is essential as it enhances sprouting ,increase infiltration and organic matter .
First mulching should be done at the time of planting with quick rotting green leaves at the rate of 10-12 t/hectare or with dry leaves at the rate 5-6 t/hectare.
The crop raised in the month of April-May needs 2-4 initial watering at an interval of 7 days depending upon the soil types. After this the crop receives monsoon rain and comes up well till end of September . Subsequently the crop has to be given watering commencing from middle of October and the end of December at 15 days intervals. In ginger cultivation sprouting, rhizome initiation and rhizome development are critical stages of irrigation.
Two weeding are generally given to the ginger crop.First weeding should be done just before the second mulching. It is repeated depending on the intensity of the weed growth or at an interval of 45-60 days. During hoeing , every care should be taken so that the rhizomes should not be disturbed, injured or exposed.
To control shoot borer and leaf roller the spray of indoxacarb @ of 10 ml per 15 litre of water or novaluron@ of 10 ml per 15 litre of water is very effective if sprayed at 15 days interval. Rhizome scale insects destroys rhizome and it can be controlled by dipping the seed rhizome in quinalphos by dissolving 1 ml in 1 litre of water .To avoid rhizome rot , good drainage and treatment of the seed rhizome with dissolving 3 gm of combination of carbendazim and mancozeb ( readily available in the market) in 1 litre of water for nearly 30 minutes, before storage should be done. Bacterial wilt which causes milky ooze as gentle pressing of rhizomes and can be effectively controlled by treating the seed rhizome with dissolving 2 gm of streptocycln in 1 litre of water for 30 minutes.
Harvesting and yield
For fresh Ginger, the crop should be harvested before attaining the full maturity means when rhizomes are still tender, low in pungency and fiber content, usually from fifth month onwards after planting. Harvesting for the preserved ginger should be done after 5-7 months of planting while harvest for dried spices and oil is best at full maturity. i.e between 8-9 months after planting when leaves start yellowing. Rhizomes to be used for planting material should be harvested until the leaves become completely dry. After digging the rhizomes should be treated with fungicide like mancozeb @3-4 gm per litre of water , dried in shade , and stored in pits covered with 20 cm layer of sand alternating every 30 cm layer of rhizomes. These pits should be dug under a thatched roof to protect the rhizomes from rain, water and direct sun. Average yield varies from 12-15 tons per hectare. However recovery of dry ginger varies from 20-22%.
Washing and drying
After harvest, the fibrous roots attached to the rhizome should be trimmed off and soil is removed by washing. Rhizomes should be soaked in water overnight and then cleaned. The skin can be removed by scrapping with the correct instrument. Peeling or scraping reduces, drying time, thus minimizes mold growth and fermentation. However scraping process tends to remove some of the oils constituents which are more concentrated in the peel. By removing the outside Corky skin the fiber content also decreases. After scrapping, the rhizomes should be sun dried for a week with frequent turning and well rubbed by hand to remove the outer skin. This is called as the unbleached ginger . The peeled rhizomes should be repeatedly immersed in 2% lime solution for 6 hours and allowed to dry in the sun for 10 days while rhizome receive a uniform coating of lime and moisture content should be 8-10%. This is called as bleached ginger which has improved appearance with light bright colour.
(compiled and written by Harsh saxena)
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