Black ginger is an old species, but provides relatively new opportunities for the fresh produce market. Kaempferia parviflora has dark purple roots and is an important plant, both in traditional medicine for several treatments as well as food supplements. Now there's an opportunity for the European or American market.
Growers in the Koulen Mountains, Cambodia, have been growing the plant for a couple of years by now and found a customer for an order of 6.000 kg. Since the wages and living circumstances of many growers in Cambodia are poor, this was an important order for the growers and for the community. Growers and their families united to grow the black ginger and provide their client with the required quality.
The product would be sent to the European market - a market that is believed to be highly interested in the product due to the growing interest in plants with health benefits.
Yet another health issue has provided them with a setback: due to COVID and despite contracts being signed, the order was cancelled.
This provides a unique opportunity for other traders, as the ginger is available again.
"In addition to the opportunity for buyers in the fresh produce industry, it's also harrowing to see the stress the farmers are currently dealing with. Cambodia is a poor country and COVID hasn't made it any better. In general circumstances for growers are not good and an order cancellation like this can have great consequences for the growers and their community," says Jan Hoogewoning.
He has been living in Thailand for many years and after being told about the situation, he's answered to their request and helping the growers out. "Full disclosure, I will not take any commission on this sale as I want all profits going to the poor farmers in Cambodia. Please understand that Cambodia is one of the poorest countries in Asia and that especially the farmers are struggling to feed themselves and their families."
Black ginger is also called black Galanga or Krachai Dum in Thai. It is used to cook with and to blend in smoothies and is well-known for its medicinal advantages. there is no classic taste comparison to regular ripe ginger.