The National Onion Producers, Processors and Marketers Association of Nigeria (NOPPMAN), has appealed government to invest in Onion storage/processing facilities that are forcing onion producers/marketers to lose over 60 to 70 per cent of their produce annually.
The National President, NOPPMAN, Mr. Aliyu Maitasamu Isah told journalists at Kano Press Centre on Tuesday that Nigeria has the capacity of producing 1.4 million metric tons of onion annually, while Nigerian’s demand for onion annually stood at 2.5 million metric tons.
Even though the production capacity runs into 1.1 million metric tons deficit, he said the Association is forced to export the produce to neighboring countries, due to lack of storage and processing facilities.
In another development, addressing participants at the 4th regional onion conference held at Coronation Hall, Kano Government House on Wednesday, Governor Abdullahi Umar Ganduje called for the establishment of small, medium and large-scale processing plants in order to boost the production of the vegetable crops.
The Governor who was represented by his Deputy Dr. Nasiru Yusuf Gawuna said Kano is the 3rd largest onion producer in Nigeria and has one of its biggest markets in the continent.
“Government is working with farmers in the state towards enhancing their production due to the importance of onion as a vegetable crop whose distinctive flavour and health benefits is appreciated globally.
“Because of our commitment towards promoting the value chain of onion, we are facilitating ways for the farmers to source funds that will launch them into big processors and exporters,” he added.
He appreciated the gesture of the organizers to host the conference in Kano and assured his of cooperation and support.
On his part, the Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Dr. Mahmood Abubakar represented by Alh. Abba Gana Yamani said the importance of onions in the Nigerian diet can never be over emphasized, adding that the ease of cultivating the crop makes it a lucrative venture for farmers.
“Nigeria is among the largest producers of onions in the world, in 2012 alone, an estimated 240,000 tonnes of green onions and 1,350,000 tonnes of dry onions were produced in Nigeria the Minister revealed.”
Speaking earlier, the National President, NOPPMAN, Mr. Aliyu Maitasamu Isah said the conference tagged: “The Onion sector in the era of the African continental free trade area and the COVID-19 pandemic” is aimed at developing a business plan for onion trade within the West and Central African Economic Community.
It also seeks to harmonize and fashion ways of continued business despite the challenges caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Stallion Times reports that the event was well attended by onion producers, processors and other stakeholders across Nigeria and African.