With the commissioning of the first onion and garlic flakes processing plant in Sokoto, Nigeria will be saving about N300 billion annually on post-harvest losses.
Speaking at the commissioning at the weekend, the National President, National Onion Producers, Processors and Marketers Association of Nigeria (NOPPMAN), Aliyu Isa Maitasamu, said the plant would reduce the N300 billion post-harvest losses to the barest minimum.
According to him, the country was producing two million tons of onion worth N700bn but about 40 per cent of them amounting to N300bn perished due to lack of modern storage facilities and processing plants in the country.
Maitasamu added that Sokoto alone produces 800,000 tons.
“We thank Onion and Garlic Processing Partnership Limited (O&G company) for coming to our rescue by establishing this processing plant,” he said.
Commissioning the plant, the Director General, Raw Materials Research and Development, Prof. Hussaini Ibrahim, said it was designed and fabricated by Nigerian engineers following the call by RMRDC to reduce the perennial post-harvest wastages associated with onion and garlic.
“The council, in collaboration with Afri-Generic synergy farms, Chimbilco Technical and Sokoto Investment and Property Company have worked assiduously to see to the objective of processing onion and garlic into flakes on industrial scale following successful research and development by the council’s in-house research team,” he said
The Sultan of Sokoto, Muhammad Sa’ad Abubakar, represented by the district head of Sokoto-North, Alhaji Malami Sheikh, said the Sultanate Council was working with the Central Bank of Nigeria to provide loans to farmers and entrepreneurs in the state.
The chairman of the company, Dr Saleh Ibrahim, said the processed onion and garlic flakes would soon flood the markets.