Wet season onion farmers in Katsina, Kano and Zamfara states are smiling to banks as a 120kg bag of the produce has hit a peak price of Between N12,000 and N15,000 as against N4,000 it was sold at the same time last year in some of the states.
In Kano State, our correspondent reports that a bag of onion is now sold between N14,000 and N16,000 and the farmers, who said they had a bumper harvest are now smiling to banks.
A farmer, Malam Mas’udu Babale, confirmed the good harvest in Kano, adding that the current onion market price has been favourable to the farmers as a 120kg bag of onion is sold at N16, 000.
Another farmer, Malam Haruna Ussaini Rano, said with the harvest of the rainy season onion, its scarcity in the state is now history.
He said the introduction of a new onion variety had helped in the massive production of onion during the rainy season, adding that the market has been offering good prices for the commodity.
Reports from Zamfara show that few farmers that cultivated the crop have started harvest.
A farmer, Mallam Sani Ahmed, said there was a good harvest of the produce this year and that farmers were selling at best price in the market.
He said a bag of onion in most parts of the growing communities now sells between N12,000 and N14,000, adding that same size was sold at N5,000 the same time last year.
The farmer added that the present market price of the produce would encourage many farmers to farm it during the dry season.
Our correspondent in Katsina State reports that many farmers that cultivated the crop recorded bumper harvest and are currently selling at what they say is a good price.
Usually, onion production in the state during the wet season is never on full scale as farmers did it alongside other crops, targeting the months of August and September to assuage their shortage of cash at that period.
Sanusi Saleh, a farmer in Danja LGA, said the development had gingered the farmers, who were now working to produce it in large quantities in the next dry season.
“Because many of us suffered from either disease of the crop, poor price or both last year, we were reluctant to farm it much this year.
“We first sold it at N17,000 a bag before it came down to N10,000 and rose slightly to N12,000.
“The trend changed because, in the past, the price started from low to high,” he explained.
Sanusi added that because of the economic crunch and high cost of food items, farmers were prepared to massively produce onion in the forthcoming irrigation farming season.
On how government and agricultural companies could intervene to standardize its production, Alhaji Sabitu Umar, an onion farmer and merchant, said; “The main intervention the farmers need is the provision of modern storage facilities to address its perishable nature, which will also check the problem of market glut at the peak of harvest.
“We normally develop our seeds locally and pesticides are available in our markets.
“What causes glut at the eve of its harvest and scarcity later is lack of reliable technology to store the produce so that we maintain its market supply for a longer time.”
Umar added that the same situation applied to tomatoes but for its local drying method.
Another onion dealer at Danja market, Muhammad Sani, said the administration of President Muhammadu Buhari has favoured farmers through numerous interventions, including halting the importation of food items.
“This year seems to be a farmers’ year because almost every produce has a high market value.
“If the tempo is sustained, farming will soon produce new millionaires in our villages,” he said.
He, however, noted that the water bodies in the southern part of the state would not be enough for the numerous farmers gearing up for irrigation farming this year.
“We have seen how tomato farmers raked in huge profit last season and with the recent high cost of food items, I bet you every farm along the river banks and dams will be active this coming season,” the farmer added.
Mohammed Sani called on agricultural companies to establish tube wells in the farms at affordable rates to sustain irrigation activities.