Fijian ginger powers ag exports; demand in Australia surges

Mar 8, 2024 | Blog, News

Fiji’s ginger industry is experiencing a remarkable surge, capturing the attention of global markets and igniting optimism among farmers and policymakers alike. Agriculture Minister Vatimi Rayalu recently lauded the industry’s continuous success as a prime export commodity, citing sustained demand from key markets worldwide.

Rayalu said ginger played a pivotal role in Fiji’s economic landscape, noting its contribution to employment generation, farmers’ socio-economic well-being, and the country’s export revenue. In 2022, Fiji’s domestic earnings reached an impressive $1.3 billion, with the agriculture sector accounting for $927.5 million, representing 68 per cent of total domestic export earnings.

Fijian ginger grower and exporter at his farm near Navua. Photo: Dev Nadkarni.

The agriculture minister attributed this substantial contribution to the production and sale of various agricultural products, with ginger emerging as a standout performer. Fiji’s chilled crop and livestock exports have consistently exceeded the $100 million mark annually since 2020, boasting an average growth rate of 13.3 per cent over the past five years.

Despite global market challenges, ginger has distinguished itself as the fourth-highest earner among Fiji’s fresh chilled non-sugar agricultural exports. In 2022 alone, Fiji exported 1,219.3 tonnes of fresh green ginger, valued at $6.9 million, marking a significant growth of 8.9 per cent compared to the previous year.

Minister Rayalu expressed optimism for further expansion in export opportunities, particularly in Australia, where Fiji’s ginger has already made significant inroads. In 2021, Australia imported 980 tonnes of ginger, including both fresh chilled and value-added products, from Fiji, signalling a growing appetite for Fijian ginger among Australian consumers.

Currently, Fiji boasts 750 registered ginger growers who play a vital role in catering to both domestic and international markets. Their dedication to cultivating high-quality ginger has positioned Fiji as a trusted supplier in the global spice trade.

With demand for Fijian ginger on the rise and favourable export prospects, stakeholders are optimistic about the industry’s future growth trajectory. As Fiji’s ginger continues to captivate palates around the world, it not only promises economic prosperity but also underscores the country’s potential as a leading player in the global agricultural arena.