Onion Farmers in Yobe Task Research Institutes on Storage Facilities

Onion farmers and marketers in Yobe have challenged universities and agriculture research institutes in the country to develop reliable onion storage facilities to check the waste and loss suffered by farmers.

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The farmers who, who threw the challenge on Monday in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), said the problem of lack of storage facilities was a serious impediment to mass production of the commodity.

“We are at the peak of the harvest, but our biggest challenge is the storage facility.

“Farmers are forced to dispose the produce at give-away  prices,  but if we have adequate storage facilities, we won’t rush into selling them,’’ said Malam Kyari Usman, an onion farmer in Geidam

Danladi Mai-Lambu, another farmer, said, “We have to dispose them early after the harvests to avoid decay and loss.

“The farmers do not have the space for the traditional storage of spreading the onions in a room, to accommodate all the harvests.

“Government institutions and establishments should come to our aid,” he pleaded.

Alhaji Ali Mustapha, a marketer, said the onions were now sold between N3, 000 and N4, 000 per bag, and would attract over N25, 000 per bag later in the year if there were storage facilities.

“The biggest challenge has been storage;onions are so fragile; a whole harvest could get spoilt within hours.

“You must have adequate space to spread the onions and do a routine check daily to remove the bad ones so as not to affect the good ones.

‘’Farmers do not have the required space and are forced to sell off the produce at cheaper rates to avoid losing them completely,” he said.

Haruna Bakura, another marketer, said with adequate storage facilities, farmers could meet the nation’s needs and even export some to other parts of the world.

“These are natural and special brand (of onions) that can beat genetically modified onions anywhere in the world,” he said. (NAN)

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