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Onion scarcity looms as demand exceeds production in Kano

Onion farmers and dealers in Kano State have expressed concern and fear at the rate demands from various places within and outside Nigeria increases within…

Onion farmers and dealers in Kano State have expressed concern and fear at the rate demands from various places within and outside Nigeria increases within production period.

Recent findings have shown that onion dealers across the country stormed several markets in the state, mopping up the commodity. This development has raised concern that sooner or later, there is going to be scarcity of onions in the state.

According to Ahmad Sada, an onion merchant at the Gun Dutse market, despite recording good yield this year, major markets across the state have been short of supply as demands from other states and countries, such as Ghana and Benin Republic increased. He explained that traditionally, onion markets ought to be bubbling with business activities, but many of such markets are closing down for the season.

“As you can see here, we are only having scanty business activities. We have to wait for onions to arrive at the market; and even at that, there are buyers everywhere. This wasn’t the tradition here at this period because business in this point in time is usually a beehive of activities because there were onions everywhere, unlike what we are having today,” he said.

Similarly, at Kura market, business activities were also scanty while merchants waited for onions to arrive. One of the merchants at the market, Musa Haruna Kubarachi, said onions had become a hot commodity; and it is getting scarce everyday.

“Onion is now a hot commodity that has become more like gold. People are buying it in huge quantities for export while internal demand also increased.

“By this time last year, this market was full of onions and at affordable prices, but as I speak with you, it will soon be out of supply because the demand is always increasing while supply is decreasing,” he said.

An onion farmer, Abba Ibrahim Danhassan, revealed that his plantation was bought over while the commodity was still on the farm. He further revealed that due to the high demand of the commodity, merchants followed farmers to their farms to buy the produce, even when it was not yet harvested. Danhassan added that the rush affected the price; hence the fear that soon, the state would encounter scarcity of the commodity.

Similarly, a recent check at onion markets across the state revealed that its price has not dropped despite the bumper harvest recorded this year. It was also revealed that due to high demand, onion price couldn’t get stable. It was gathered that an average bag of onion fluctuates from N28,000 to N45,000.

One of the onion dealers, Shehu Isah Kura, told Daily Trust on Sunday that the business has never witnessed such high demand like this before, adding that in his three decades of onion business, he had never experienced this rush.

“We were told that many places had not produced as much as expected because of insecurity. And supply from Niger Republic was very minimal due to exchange rate; hence the shortage in supply, coupled with high demand,” he added.

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