The demand for space has driven exploration and globalization. Its value has not just been recognized economically but also socially as an element of culture and scientifically for its potential in pharmacology and medicine. Considering the Europe naval race for the Asian spice islands which laid the foundation for imperialism in the 14th and 15th century, there is no doubt that it is an industry of world importance. One of the spices that have figured well in the spice trade is ginger, a spice that seems inconsequential today but was once considered as an indication of class and culture (Hutton & Cassio 2003). Estimates of the global spice industry have been generally positive, growing by about 5% since 1998 (Food and Agricultural Organization [FAO] 2005). The industry is dominated by India followed by Indonesia and China, which is exhibiting the most significant growth in recent years (see Appendix A). Spice production in Thailand from 1998 to 2001 list garlic, ginger, hot pepper, chili pepper, shallot, clove and pepper as key products (“Ginger” 2003). In previous years, there has been a focus on peppers because of rising in world prices. However, subsequent declines in global indices have also been credited for the deceleration of the industry. Appendix A also documents the 2001 standing of the Thai spice industry worldwide. Based on estimates done by the Thai Ministry of Agriculture and Cooperatives (MAC), it estimates the value of the industry to US$19.36 million in 2001 (FAO 2005). As seen in Appendix B, pepper cultivation represents the bulk of spice production in country. Thus, though there has been decline in the price of the commodity, the size of its market supports its role as primary spice commodity for the country. The bulk of revenues from the trade of spices are supported significant domestic consumption but the main motivation for players in the Thai spice industry is to supply international demand. As seen in Appendix C, Thai spice exports make up the majority of total production.
Ginger Cultivation and Trade
China holds market leadership in the ginger category, 25% of the total world production, eclipsing spice trade leader India ("Ginger", 2003). However, though China ranks as the world's leader in production, export of ginger has been dominated by Japan. This is because much of China's production has been directed to its domestic markets (FAO 2005). Cultivation of ginger was