Ginger industry

Prospective buyers Indian tobacco Company (ITC), Sresta natural bio products private limited, Hyderabad, North East Region Agricultural Marketing Corporation (Neramac), National Agricultural Cooperative Marketing Federation of India Limited (NAFED) are looking at this area a source of ginger.

Mr. Angamuthu said, “Earlier the ginger growers of the area were at the mercy of the middlemen. In many instances, the farmers were forced to sell their product below the cost of production. After the inception of Gin-fed, the farmers of the area are getting both backward and forward linkages,” he said.

He added, “We have done targeted intervention under which a price is fixed. Last season, GIN-FED procured first and fixed a price which was later followed by other buyers. The G-card is basically an improved version of Kisan credit card, the holder of G-card can raise loans from the banks and Gin-fed facilitates the farmers in getting the loan,” he stated.

The deputy commissioner further said not having proper transportation channel was another problem faced by the ginger growers of the area. “We are tied up with Indian railways for getting a wagon here. In trucks the growers had to pay exorbitant rates if they needed to send their product to Azadpur Mandi in New Delhi. We have built a go-down and now we are working towards setting up cold storage,” he said. He added that Gin-Fed will ink an MOU with Neramac for sourcing of the ginger from the area. “Ginger has several medicinal qualities. Ginger oil and ginger powder are becoming quite popular these days. We have also introduced letter of credit system and it has been made mandatory that all the farmers of Gin-Fed must have a bank account. Gin-fed has also applied for getting organic certification with SGS Sweden,” he said.

Assam minister for co-operation, Gautam Bora said that centre, state and National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development (NABARD) will pump in Rs 287 Crore for short term credit in the state in the next couple of years. Analysts feel that the widespread feeling of hate between the two communities of Karbi and Dimasa in Karbi Anglong in 2005 which resulted in the death of nearly 100 people was due to ginger. Actually both the groups wanted the control of the ginger production.

The fiasco resulted in the delay or withholding of projects worth Rs 13.5 Crores in the ginger sector. Karbi Anglong also lost German export orders worth Rs 5 lakh, which it was likely to bag this harvesting season. As per the records of Assam agricultural department, nearly 16244 hectares of land of Assam is under ginger cultivation, the state produces 113771 metric tonnes of ginger annually.