The Department of Agriculture-CAR’s endeavor to mass propagate ginger in Benguet kicked off on February 16, 2021 with a ceremonial planting and technical briefing activity held in Kapangan, Benguet.

The agency’s Research Division is implementing the project “Mass Production of Quality Planting Materials through Mass Propagation for Selected High Value Crops in CAR” with the objective of increasing the production of quality planting materials of selected high value crops through utilization of mass propagation techniques and protocols. The project is led by Dr. Luis Lang-oy, Chief of the Research Division.

As gleaned from reports of Ms. Arlina Golonan, Science Research Specialist, and co-proponent of the project, ginger is among the selected high value crops for this project alongside sweet potato and mushroom.

With ginger having been selected as one of the ‘niche products’ of Benguet particularly Kapangan, the ceremonial planting and technical briefing activity aimed to generate the full involvement of stakeholders, key leaders, and ginger growers in the area. Moreover, the activity formalized the commitment and the roles and responsibilities of each participant in the project implementation, the reports said.

During the ceremony, Mayor Manny Fermin stressed that Kapangan was selected as one of the beneficiary municipalities for ginger production because it was once assisted by the Japanese government through the provision of technical as well as marketing assistance through export of the commodity to Japan sometime in the past.

“It is timely that ginger production be revived in Kapangan to ensure the availability of supply of ginger in the local market, aside from serving as an additional source of income for marginal farmers in the Region,” Mayor Fermin said.

Furthermore, the demand of exportable ginger to Japan is not enough. According to the Mayor, “Due to the high demand of ginger exported to Japan, wala nang natitira para sa community. So we really need to expand the production areas for ginger production,” he added.

The farmer-beneficiaries/stakeholders were briefed of their roles and responsibilities during the activity and were given three kilograms of planting materials each for mass production.
Recipients are said to give back 1.5 kilos per kilo received after harvest for sustainability and distribution to other farmers in the region.

Golonan added that other beneficiaries who attended the ceremony came from Beleng-Belis and Paykek, Kapangan, Benguet.

The mass production of quality planting materials project is a Php 3 million project funded under the Department of Agriculture-Bureau of Agricultural Research High Value Commercial Crops conducted in the provinces of Benguet, Kalinga and Apayao and at Baguio City aiming to mass-produce commodities such as ginger, mushroom and sweet potato and come up with packaged technologies and SMART Techo guides to be disseminated to farmers, consumers, entrepreneurs, researchers and other interested persons. //Mabz Zabala with reports from Arlina Golonan (DA-CAR Research Division)