THE first ever samples of Solomon Islands’ ginger was sent to Canada last week.
Five Kilogram (5KG) worth of ginger samples were successfully hand delivered to the Solomon Islands Honorary Consul to Canada Mr. Ashwant Dwivedi prior to his departure to Canada.
This was successfully done in collaboration with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and External Trade (MFAET) along with the support and assistance from the Research Unit of the Ministry of Agriculture and Livestock.
The export of ginger into the Canadian market was one of the issues raised and pursued by the Solomon Islands Prime Minister Hon. Rick Houenipwela to the Canadian Prime Minister Hon. Justin Trudeau during the margins of the CHOGM meeting in April.
A statement from the MFAET stated that with the diminishing projection for logging, there is an eminent need for Solomon Islands to diversify its export base.
“As such, the underlying push to explore opportunities in the international or regional markets is that it would trigger a shift from subsistence farming to commercial farming. Other food commodities such as pineapple, cassava and chillies are also considered for market opportunities in Canada,” it said.
The statement highlighted that this would bring to effect economic prosperity for farmers and local communities and the country as a whole.
“Going forward, this will need concerted efforts by SIG and the private sector,” the statement highlighted.
MAL will now need to identify individuals/exporters to engage in the trade.
On the other hand, MFAET through the Solomon Islands Honorary Consul to Canada, will be working closely with the Ginger Task force, Research Unit, Ministry of Agriculture and Livestock to prepare Solomon Islands to meet the challenge of providing the high quantity of demand of ginger to enter into the Canadian market.
“The Solomon Islands ginger production has great potential to reach overseas markets. Ginger is of high demand in the world market this is due to its dual purpose for spice in foods and as well as abundant medicinal benefits,” the statement adds.
Recent data provided by FAOSTAT, 2014 shows that Canada’s major supplier of ginger and ginger products is China with a towering 86% of the total ginger Canada receives.
Apart from that Canada receives ginger from other countries including Australia and neighbouring Fiji.
In 2016 Ministry of Agriculture and Livestock (MAL), conducted a study to assess SI potential in ginger productions, which affirmed country’s potential to export ginger to Canada.
The production base as investigated in the study shows a good number of farmers from Guadalcanal, Central, Isabel and Choiseul Provinces.
“Solomon Island produces a unique and quality kind of ginger which is of high demand to the Canadian market,” the statement adds.
Mr. Dwivedi who is advocating for export of ginger and other food produces into Canada, indicated from his findings, that the Canadian market would require approximately 40 tonnes of ginger per month from the Solomon Islands.
The challenge would be for Solomon Islands to provide consistent supply to meet market demands, particularly given current production levels are calculated to an estimated national yield of ginger per hectare per annum is 22,933 Kg (23 tons).
“On the contrary, the hope is that, once market becomes available, it would encourage more farmers to grow ginger, and consequently increase ginger production.”
-PM Press Secretariat