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A mission team from the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) saw for itself what midwestern Nepal farmers are discovering: there’s value in ginger root. The team visited farms as part of its routine monitoring of IFAD-supported activities, including SNV's High Value Agriculture Project (HVAP).

"A year ago, we didn't have any other option than to sell our ginger at whatever price the middlemen gave us because, if we didn't, it would just go to waste," explained Laxmi Kharel, a ginger farmer.

Kharel and other farmers told the IFAD team that life has changed for the better with this little rhizome. The start-up of an organic ginger processing factory is part of that change. The factory is an encouragement for more organic ginger production and links farmers directly to markets.

Factory owner, Samir Newa, said, “Farmer groups in villages around Surkhet supply Organic Mountain Flavour with a set amount of ginger at a fixed negotiated price and can earn up to 15 per cent more if the ginger is certified to be organic.”

Newa hopes to double this year’s 300 tonnes of processed ginger during 2015.

And Surkhet’s ginger farmers, like Kharel, said they feel less vulnerable to the vagaries of the market.

“It is great relief that we don’t have to carry our ginger to the town to sell, we have a secure market,” noted one farmer.

The IFAD team included Country Programme Manager Lakshmi Moola, Country Programme Co-ordinator Basu Aryal, and Web and Knowledge Management Kukka Korhonen. HVAP is an SNV-supported project funded by IFAD in nine districts in Nepal’s midwest region and implemented by the Ministry of Agricultural Development.