3.3K kg. of ginger distributed to farmers in Cam Sur

By Connie Calipay

LEGAZPI CITY -- To step up ginger production to keep up with high demand, the Department of Agriculture’s (DA) office in Bicol, through the High-Value Crops Development Program, distributed 3,300 kg. of gingerroot to vegetable growers in Barangay San Jose in Pili, Camarines Sur on Thursday.

Emily Bordado, DA regional information officer, in an interview said there were 66 beneficiaries from different vegetable growers association in Camarines Sur, mostly from Libmanan, Lupi, Tigaon and Ocampo. Each of them received 50 kg. of ginger for planting.

"The activity was conducted to help the growers cope with the overflowing demand for this spicy and medicinal crop," Bordado said.

Before the distribution, the members were briefed on the latest technology on ginger production, as well as the root crop’s health benefits.

“Maski dakul ang supply kan luya, mayong hadit na dai ni mabakal sa merkado (There is no worry if there is an oversupply of ginger because it is always needed in the market),” said Edwin Castaneda, chairman of the Libmanan Vegetable Growers Association.

He said this is the second time they would plant ginger apart from their other vegetable crops, among them eggplant, ampalaya, and string beans.

The group, which was organized in 2006 with 120 members, has been receiving interventions from DA, such as technical assistance, vegetable seeds, garden tools, and other equipment.

Castaneda related to the Philippine News Agency (PNA) that he sometimes buys the produce of his co-members and sells them in Divisoria and Pasig City in Metro Manila.

He said he transports the vegetables twice a week during peak season.

He welcomed the assistance extended by DA to the farmers' groups, saying it is a big help to them and inspires them to strive more so that they could contribute to food self-sufficiency.

Ginger or "luya" is an excellent spice with many healing properties. It is an antioxidant, a pain reliever and it is anti-inflammatory - the reasons why it is in high demand. Because of this, more vegetable growers are adding ginger to their commercial crops production. (PNA)