From Sani Dalhat, Zaria
The National Association of Onion Producers, Processors and Marketers of Nigeria has decried lack of Federal Government’s support to attract foreign market to boost export of the commodity.
The national chairman of the association, Alhaji Isa Mai Tasamu Binji Sokoto, who made the observation at an occasion in Zaria, said that the country’s onion is one of the best in the world that could compete favourably in the international market.
He expressed concern on government neglect to boosting the commodity through provision of farm implement and soft loan to farmers to maximize production.
The chairman, who was represented by Kaduna State branch chairman of the association, Alhaji Sani Ismail Kargi, explained that currently the country can only produce 1,000 tons of the onion while it demands 2,800 tons annually.
He further explained that at the moment India has asked for the supply of 1,000 powdered onion from the nation’s farmers but can not meet up with the demand due to shortage in production.
The national chairman said Ghana and Niger Republics depend largely on Nigerian onion to process the commodity into other commercial products.
“In Niger, marketers buy our onion and process it to make chocolate, Juice, powder and maggi cubes among other things.
“It is also unfortunate that in Ghana, when they purchase our onion, they rebag it and export it to other countries tagging it as “Ghana Onion,” he lamented.
He said in Nigeria, there is no single machine that can process onion into any product for exportation.
Also commenting, the Kaduna State woman leader of the association, Hajiya Hauwa Ibrahim said women have greater role to play in onion farming and marketing, urging them not to abandon such farming to the men alone.
The chairman, Zaria chapter, Alhaji Mustapha Balarabe said efforts were on top gear to liaise with government to commence exportation of the commodity to the international market.