Kampung Tikolod is the hub of ginger cultivation and traditional musical instruments making in Tambunan.
Ginger is farmed abundantly in the village by the local farmers, thus making them one of Sabah’s main suppliers.
“The ginger cultivated in this village is acclaimed for its high content of juice,” the spokesperson of Kampung Tikolod Tourism Centre, Biana Langang.
The fertile soils in the village has enable the villagers to grow ginger abundantly. And the over supply of the roots has motivated them to innovate and produced their own ginger-based by-products to be sold to tourists and locals alike.
“The villagers here are quite innovative and each family has created their own unique signature products, which they marketed in Tambunan and some to Peninsular Malaysia,” Biana said.
The ginger-based by products has been constantly improved over the years and sells at the bazaar grounds. It is also promoted at the exhibition fairs, she said.
“We had started selling the ginger products between 2014 and 2015. All the villagers here are ginger growers and on average, each of them owns at least half to three acres of land,” Biana said.
She continued: “The village has also earned the moniker as the ‘Ginger Group’ since they are known as the production hub of ginger in Tambunan.”
According to her, the ginger farmers homemade products were created through their own creativity through trials and errors. The farmers never attend proper training as the abundance of ginger has spurred them to diversify their activities.
“We continue to improve our products from time to time based on the feedback from the consumers. Nowadays, we attended courses organised by MARDI (Malaysian Agriculture Research and Development Institute).
“The villagers are modernising now as they also using WhatsApp, Instagram and Facebook to market their products.
“And marketing strategy via the social media has attracted some buyers from the peninsula who are curious to try our local-made products which are made from 100 per cent pure ginger,” she said.
They also received bulk orders from companies who buy the roots to make ginger honey juice and soap, she said.
Visitors who wants to experience the ginger farming activities can stay overnight at their homestay so that they can follow the whole programme, she said.
The ginger planting season usually starts from January to April. Two variants of ginger -old and young are grow in the village. The young roots will be harvested after four months whilst the older one will be picked after eight to nine months, she said.
The tourists are welcomed to see the harvesting sessions in the farms which they usually carry out around August to December, she added.
The village is always let its door open to welcome tourists and visitors alike throughout the year regardless of season.
“Those who wants to buy the ginger can come directly to the village and approach the owners. They can order directly from the unassuming farmers. They can buy as many as they want with no uncertain amount but depends on yields available,” she said.
On average, each acre can produce up to 600 kg of ginger roots. And each month the ginger suppliers can produce around one tonne, she disclosed.
The village is also a centre for making traditional musical instruments using natural resources such as sompoton, bungkau, and tongkungon, to name a few for visitors to buy and bring home as souvenirs.-HS