ZAMBOANGA DEL NORTE, December 13, 2022 – Landlocked municipality in Zamboanga del Norte, surrounded by ginger producing communities now ventures into ginger production with the aid of the Department of Agriculture – Special Area for Agricultural Development (DA-SAAD) Program aimed at establishing salabat (ginger tea) enterprise in the community.
The 25-member Dipopor Farmers Association (FA) in the municipality of Godod, an identified Geographically Isolated and Disadvantaged Area (GIDA) received inputs for the program’s Ginger Production Project. Members usually depend on corn and rubber production as their main source of livelihood.
The FA also previously received inputs for the Peanut Production Project in 2017 prior to ginger production in 2022. Neighboring towns of Godod are ginger-producing areas for enterprise.
The group received 375 kilograms (kg) of rhizomes and 26 bags of vermicast worth Php 822,000 in March 2022. Since Godod is a landlocked municipality with flat to slightly rolling areas, well-drained, and light to medium textured soil, ginger crops are seen as suitable for cultivation.
In the last week of April, 260kg of rhizomes were planted in a ¼ hectare-communal garden, while the remaining 115kg were cultivated in the members’ individual backyard gardens.
Being first timers in ginger production, the DA-SAAD provided the association with technical training in May 2022 discussing ginger cultivation and management. Godod SAAD Area Coordinator Roque Dulutallas served as the resource person and discussed the ginger’s uses and nutritional value, culture and management of ginger from its varieties, soil and climate requirements, planting materials, clearing, land preparation, planting, fertilization, irrigation, weeding, pest and disease management and harvesting. Postharvest handling from cleaning, drying, curing, grading, storage after curing, and marketing were also tackled during the training.
Aside from production training, the program also conducted training on ginger processing in partnership with the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) to train farmers in producing salabat powder (ginger tea) for value addition. Charity Canoy, business counselor from DTI gave hands-on training in processing ginger tea.
Dipopor FA president Ailyn Cadongog expressed her gratitude to the Program for providing them new farm production to venture in.
“Ako ug akong mga membro sa among association, dako kaayo namong kalipay kay ubay ubay jud ang among na harvest sa among luy-a bisan first time namo ni-try ani. Kaning (DA-SAAD) programa dako kaayo ikatabang sa among panginabuhian,” she said.
(I and the members of the Dipopor FA feel elated because we harvested a huge amount of produced ginger despite being novice in growing the said plant. The [DA-SAAD] Program will surely help us improve our living conditions.)
The fully assisted Ginger Production Project from the DA-SAAD Program in the province recorded a harvest of 483 kilograms (kg) of fresh ginger in 7 months.
Ailyn also disclosed that the said harvest will not be sold, but will be replanted in a larger area to produce more harvest and to sustain the project. While waiting for the harvest in their backyard gardens in January 2023, the members are preparing for the production of salabat powder (ginger tea) for enterprise. ###
Writer: Aimee Lou D. Madjus, DA-SAAD Zamboanga del Norte Information Officer