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Onion farmers attribute glut to absence of storage facilities

Daily trust - August 26 2015

Onion farmers in Katsina State have attributed the glut of the commodity in the market to lack of modern storage facilities that can preserve the onions for a long period of time.

Peasant farmers in the state produce the commodity in large quantities in August and October, thereby sustaining their economy within the period before the harvest of their main farm produce such as maize and sorghum.

A farmer in Kafur, Malam Salisu Yahuza, said large quantity of onions was produced in the local government area and that merchants from different parts of the country were buying the commodity from Kafur market.
“As we produce large quantity of onions here, merchants from the far east  come here to buy the commodity which they transport to Aba, Port Harcourt or Yenagoa. Our main problem is the perishable nature of the commodity coupled with lack of modern storage facilities which causes its glut in the market,” said Salisu Yahuza.
He added that unlike tomatoes, onions can be stored properly without undergoing any industrial processes, especially as it is one of the food condiments that are demanded in the market.
This reporter discovered that the farmers have their own traditional ways of preserving onions to last for several months but that will not prevent them from losing  some of the commodity because of heat.
An onion merchant from Anambra State, Mr Gabriel Ike, said they take advantage of the glut period in August, September and October to buy onions in large quantity at the rate of not more than N3,500 per bag, which they transport to the eastern and southern parts of the country.
“A bag of onion costs up to N20,000 here, depending on its availability in the market but during its glut period like now, we buy it at the rate of N2,500 to N3,500 depending on its maturity and quality,” said Mr Ike, adding that the business of onions is a thriving one.
 
 

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