BusinessDay

Nigeria unable to meet 2.44m metric tonnes nat’l demand for onion

Nigeria is yet to meet its 2.44 million metric tonnes national demand for onion and currently contributes little to the export market.

Ernest Afolabi-Umakhihe, the permanent secretary, ministry of agriculture and rural development, represented by a director in the ministry, Omotosho Marvelous, stated this in Birnin Kebbi on Friday at a workshop on adoption of good post-harvest handling and improved storage techniques for onion production in Nigeria.

“Nigeria is among major producers of onions in the world, recently ranked 2nd in Africa and 7th in the world.

“In spite of this potential, the country is yet to meet its national demand of 2.44 million metric tonnes and currently contributes little to the export market.

“This is largely due to inadequate knowledge and skills in onion production, resulting in high post-harvest losses, poor yield and produce quality, among others,” she said.

“Over 40 percent of onions were lost at post- harvest and storage levels. Though there is slight increase in the national output from 1.4 million metric tonnes in 2018 to 1.52 million metric tonnes in 2020, about 622,084 metric tonnes were recorded as post-harvest losses with only 895,195 metric tonnes being utilised.

“The demand gap is 1.54 million metric tonnes amid explosive population growth to be bridged by importation of onions and onion products such as onion powder, oil, among others, valued at 3.22 million dollars in 2020 which exerts enormous pressure on our foreign exchange earnings,” she said.

Afolabi-Umakhihe said the training was aimed at continuing upgrading knowledge and technical know-how of elite farmers, relevant desk officers, among others, to reduce post-harvest losses and increase onion shelf-life.

“The training of elite farmers, relevant desk officers and detention staff, subject matter specialists on coordinated agricultural innovation approach required, will enable you to guide other farmers in best storage protocol to achieve sustainable agricultural production for food sufficiency and global export market,” she said.

Afolabi-Umakhihe urged the trainees to take advantage of the opportunity in order to acquire the needed knowledge and skills for onward cascading to other farmers in the state.

Also, Shehu Abdullahi, a director in the federal ministry of agriculture, said the priority of the present administration was the state of a nation’s agricultural development at any time that could be assessed as a result of use of unlimited improved agricultural technologies to satisfy its goals and objectives.

He called on the trainees to take advantage of their presence to build their capacity and knowledge base.

Abdullahi commended the efforts of horticulture value chain for organising the event, adding that it would have a positive impact in order to reduce post-harvest losses and increase farmers’ returns on investment.

“It is my sincere hope that this training workshop will be given the seriousness and diligence it deserves. You are, therefore, encouraged to disseminate the knowledge gathered here to other colleagues who were not privileged to attend,” he urged.

Speaking on behalf of the participants, the secretary of the National Onion Producers, Processors and Marketers Association of Nigeria (NOPPMAN), Shuaibu Isah, thanked the ministry and the Federal Government for organising the training for them and assured that they would utilise what they were thought for the purpose it was meant to achieve. NAN

Labour:
was the state of a nation’s agricultural development at any time that could be assessed as a result of use of unlimited improved agricultural technologies to satisfy its goals and objectives.

He called on the trainees to take advantage of their presence to build their capacity and knowledge base.

Abdullahi commended the efforts of horticulture value chain for organising the event, adding that it would have a positive impact in order to reduce post-harvest losses and increase farmers’ returns on investment.

“It is my sincere hope that this training workshop will be given the seriousness and diligence it deserves. You are, therefore, encouraged to disseminate the knowledge gathered here to other colleagues who were not privileged to attend,” he urged.

Speaking on behalf of the participants, the secretary of the National Onion Producers, Processors and Marketers Association of Nigeria (NOPPMAN), Shuaibu Isah, thanked the ministry and the Federal Government for organising the training for them and assured that they would utilise what they were thought for the purpose it was meant to achieve.