Ginger Oil Production: The growing green gold in Nigeria, by Chinedu Agbaji

Zobo drink production business, by Agbaji Chinedu
Agbaji Chinedu.

Ginger Oil Production: The growing green gold in Nigeria, by Chinedu Agbaji

Today’s Agri-business

Ginger is a perennial herb’s rhizome used as a spice, preservative, and medicine. Ginger oil, extracted from the Zingiber officinale herb plant is sweet, moist, and energising. Ginger oil is primarily used in confectionery, desserts and baked goods. It also acts as a laxative, antiseptic, tonic and stimulant.

More so, ginger oil has been used as a remedy since ancient times in various medicinal products. It can also be used in a variety of applications on the skin and hair. The distinctive hot flavour and pungent ginger odour are due to the presence of an acrid compound called gingerol. Gingerol is responsible for most of the nutritional effects of ginger.

Nigeria is the third-largest exporter of ginger in the world after China and India. Nigeria had an 11.5% share of world growth in 2017, generating 349.9 thousand tons of ginger. Ginger is produced in six states of the Federation namely, Kaduna, Nasarawa, Benue, Niger and Gombe with Kaduna as the major producer. Nigeria’s production in 2005 was estimated at 110,000 metric tonnes (FAO).

In the market, ginger is available in various forms; fresh ginger rhizome, powder ginger and dry ginger rhizome. Out of this, 10% is locally consumed as fresh ginger while 90% is dried primarily for the export markets. In Nigeria, the harvesting of ginger starts in October and normally continues until April/May. This largely depends on the market situation as ginger can be left on the ground (not harvested) for two years.

The demand for ginger oil is always on the rise. It has a vast domestic and foreign market. Prospective entrepreneurs in the industry will be glad to venture in.

Nigerian capacity to produce ginger oil

However, Nigeria’s capacity for ginger processing, particularly ginger oil, remains grossly insufficient owing to the underdevelopment or neglect of the country’s agro-processing sector and the high cost of processing facilities. An intentional policy approach should be taken by the government to change this story. Notwithstanding, the market for ginger in Nigeria is impressive, and the ginger oil production business will make a profitable venture if you’re hoping to start one in the country or even in Africa as a whole. Here is a guide on how to start a lucrative ginger oil production business.

Ginger oil production

Ginger oil production refers to all the processes involved in the extraction of oil from the ginger rhizome. Extraction of ginger oil requires either of two means: steam distillation and extraction of solvents. Solvent extraction is for ginger oleoresin extraction, while steam distillation is used to obtain essential oil from the ginger.

Ginger oil production processing line:

  • Sourcing of ginger
  • Washing and sorting
  • Ginger peeling
  • Ginger whitening
  • Ginger drying
  • Grinding
  • Steam distillation
  • Packaging

Business opportunities in ginger oil production

Ginger oil has applications in various industries such as food and beverage, pharmacy, personal care, and other sectors.

Food and beverage industry: Ginger oil is used for flavour and seasoning purposes in the food and beverage industry, particularly in confectionery drinks and baking products. It is commonly used as a savour for cake, cookies, biscuits, ginger snaps etc. The market demand for ginger oil in non-alcoholic beverages is vast.

Medicinal use: Ginger oil has several uses in the field of medicine including treating gastrointestinal disorders such as nausea and vomiting, diarrhoea, food poisoning, gastric ulcer, fever, asthma, migraine, inflammation and several other treatments. It is also used as an antiseptic, laxative, tonic, stimulant, carminative, expectorant, analgesic, anti-inflammatory, antispasmodic, appetite-boosting, circulatory, diuretic, detoxifying, immune-boosting and sudorific. Ginger oil has been used as a treatment for ages because of its healing properties. Also, it relieves fatigue, mental tension, dizziness, weakness, restlessness and anxiety.

Cosmetics: Ginger oil is essential in hair care. It is used in the production of personal hair care products. Also, ginger oil is used as a tonic for stimulant warming, anti-inflammatory and firming therapy.

Why invest in the growing green gold in Nigeria?

With the rise of the COVID-19 pandemic all over the globe, the use of animal-based products is decreasing. Consumers are leaning towards plant-based products which is beneficial for the ginger oil market.

COVID 19 has a positive impact on the ginger oil market. In India, the use of ginger oil increased due to its medicinal properties related to the respiratory system and its immunity empowering trait. The consumption increased as people opted for natural products for gaining immunity and for alleviating respiratory diseases.

The ginger oil companies used the COVID-19 pandemic as an opportunity to increase the production of ginger oil and ginger oil-related health supplements. In India, government hospitals are treating COVID-19 patients with boiling water mixed with lime and ginger extracts. This is one of the safest and traditional methods, and the patient doesn’t suffer from any major side effects.

Ginger oil is being consumed with herbal tea as it helps in enhancing overall immunity in the body. Overconsumption of ginger oil leads to heartburn and abdominal pain. In the time of pandemic, companies and institutions have been encouraging patients and consumers to regularly seek medical seek from an expert or a doctor, before the consumption and usage of the oil. Manufacturers and companies are providing and selling products with clean labels, during the time of the pandemic.

The pharmacological potentials of ginger oil will drive the market growth

Europe is expected to hold a major share in the ginger oil market. There are certain elements in the oil that are used to prevent and cure tumour related problems. Major companies and institutions have been investing a substantial sum of capital into the development of pharmaceutical products with clean ginger oil labels. Gingerol in ginger oil is used to open and expand the airways of patients that are suffering from bronchitis. Ginger oil should be used in the right quantity if one wants to take and explore the major benefits of the oil. It deploys and releases protective properties in the liver, thereby enhancing the patient’s immunity and lifespan. Tumour growth gets minimized because of the presence of major antioxidant properties in the oil.

The value of ginger oil in the international market

The top exporter in 2020 was Malaysia with an export value of USD 289 million.

The top importer in 2020 was Italy with an import value of USD 156 million.

Ginger oil is a member of the essential oil family. The essential oil market is expected to reach $11.5 billion by 2022, with a CAGR of 10.1% from 2016 to 2022. Essential oil is obtained from various herbs and plants, such as orange, eucalyptus, corn mint, peppermint, citronella, lemon, lime cloverleaf, ginger and spearmint, using distillation methods such as steam and water distillation.

The major factor boosting the market growth is the increasing consumer preference for natural and organic products be it cosmetics, food or similar other product categories. Thus, as a nation this agro-business venture offers an exciting opportunity for us the create jobs, reduce waste, generate revenue and foreign exchange thereby strengthening the economic growth of the nation through the ginger oil processing plants.


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