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FG to intervene as farmers lose N12bn to ginger blight epidemic

FG to intervene as farmers lose N12bn to ginger blight epidemic
March 26
09:19 2024

The federal government has confirmed the outbreak of ginger blight epidemic in four states across Nigeria, adding that farmers have lost over N12bn due to the disease.

Aliyu Abdullahi, minister of state for agriculture and food security, disclosed this on Monday at the inauguration of the national ginger blight epidemic control taskforce in Abuja.

Also known as ginger tuber rot disease, ginger blight mainly harms underground tubers.

Abdullahi said the fungal disease has inflicted significant damage on ginger farms in Kaduna, Nassarawa, Plateau, and the Federal Capital Territory.


The minister said the blight has led to losses in billions of naira, impacting not only the livelihoods of farmers, but also Nigeria’s position as the world’s second-largest ginger producer.

“Our preliminary estimates suggested that affected farmers in southern Kaduna lost over N12bn,” he said.

“Furthermore, considering that over 85 percent of Nigeria’s ginger cultivation occurs in this region, we can safely assume a substantial loss of cultivated land, potentially exceeding 70 percent of total land.”


Abdullahi said the federal government, through the national agricultural development fund, would launch a N1.6bn recovery package for affected farmers in ginger-producing areas.

He said the ginger blight epidemic served as a stark reminder of the importance of preparedness in safeguarding agricultural resources, adding that by investing in research, extension services, and farmer support systems, “we can build a more sustainable future for our agricultural sector.”

On his part, Abubakar Abdullahi, chairman of the task force committee, said the blight on ginger has negatively affected the gross domestic product earnings from the subsector.

“It is of necessity and great urgency that various subcommittees are put in place to forestall these negative effects,” he said.


He assured the minister of the commitment of the team to salvage the situation and pleaded with the minister to give the committee the power to co-opt members that would add value to the task force to discharge their duties efficiently and effectively.

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