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Why onions are expensive in many states

It has been reported that the price of onion has been on the rise beyond what was obtainable years back. Recent findings by Daily Trust…

It has been reported that the price of onion has been on the rise beyond what was obtainable years back. Recent findings by Daily Trust on Sunday also revealed that the commodity has been scarce due to high demand from exporters and other users, coupled with the commodity’s unavailability in the market.

Market surveys had revealed that a bag of onion is selling at N120,000. However, it was gathered that the price is dropping due to fresh supply from Gada in Niger Republic and other places.

According to Alhaji Danladi Umar, an onion farmer in Kano State, one of the reasons behind the scarcity of the commodity is low production during the wet season, coupled with poor storage methodologies. He explained that during the wet season, only Kano and Kaduna states grew the commodity, and as such, the supply couldn’t meet demand.

“Only Kano and Jigawa states produce onions during wet season, and even at that, the issue of poor storage methods didn’t help matters. That is why, at a moment like this you will find out that the commodity is scarce and at a very high cost,” he said.

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It was also gathered that onion farmers across the state are now busy with planting and other activities for dry season production for 2024. A visit to Kadawa and Bagwai irrigation sites revealed a vast onion plantation for the season.

Another farmer, Usman Yusuf, said it was normal in onion value chain to experience scarcity and hike in price during this period due to production calendar. He added that in few months coming, the price of the commodity will drop.

Similarly, the Kano State chairman of Onion Farmers Association, Alhaji Bala Danlarai, said the current issue around onion was perennial due to poor storage facilities for storage. He added that another issue is that of production calendar, which usually failed to conform with demand and supply chain.

He further revealed that already, the price of onions has begun to drop from N120,000 to N65,000. The chairman also attributed the drop in price to the availability of the commodity from Niger Republic, Yobe State, Sokoto and Kebbi states.

“The demand for onions from Nigeria has been on the rise recently. Nigeria supplies Ghana and Benin Republic, among other African countries. However, the rise in price of onions is transitional because it will soon drop as production for the dry season has commenced. As I speak to you, the price has begun to drop already to N65,000 as against the initial price of N120,000 per bag,” he said.

He further explained that the issue around onion storage has been one of the challenges affecting farmers, adding that there has been an attempt by Sasakawa Africa (SAA) in the establishment of aerated onion storage facilities across some onion markets, adding that there is a need to establish more of these storage facilities to save farmers.

“On many occasions we had to hire poultry houses to store our onions, but for how long can we store in those places? The newly established aerated storage facilities introduced by SAA are not enough. To distance ourselves from the perennial scarcity, government has to come in and provide us with the needed storage demand. We can produce the country’s annual onion demand but poor storage is our problem,” he added.

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