By Uzair Adam Imam
Governor Abdullahi Umar Ganduje of Kano has called for the establishment of small, medium and large scale processing plants in order to boost the production of the vegetable crop in the state.
Ganduje made the call on Wednesday, 3rd November, 2021 while addressing participants of the 4th regional onion conference at Kano Government House.
The Governor represented by his Deputy Dr. Nasiru Yusuf Gawuna stated that Kano being the 3rd largest onion producing state in the country and having one of its biggest market in the continent, his administration is working alongside the farmers in the state towards enhancing their production due to the importance of onion as a vegetable crop whose distinctive flavour and health benefits is appreciated by people around the globe.
“Because of our commitment towards promoting the value chain of onion, we are facilitating ways for the farmers to source for funds that will launch them into big processors and exporters,” he said.
Ganduje went on to describe the event as milestone and expressed appreciation to the organisers for the honour done to Kano to host the conference.
The Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Dr. Mahmood Abubakar represented by Alh. Abba Gana Yamani said the importance onions in the Nigerian diet can never be under estimated, adding that the ease of cultivating the crop makes it a lucrative venture for farmers.
“Nigeria is among the largest producers of onions in the world, in 2012 alone, an estimated 240,000 tonnes of green onions and 1,350,000 tonnes of dry onions were produced in Nigeria the Minister revealed”.
Speaking earlier, the President Of the National Onion Producers, Processors and Marketers Association Of Nigeria, Aliyu Maitasamu Isa explained only 1,400,000 million tonnes of onions instead 2,500,000 million tonnes therefore calls for increase in the production of the vegetable crop.
He said the conference with the theme: “The Onion sector in the era of the African continental free trade area and the COVID-19 pandemic” is aimed at developing a business plan for onion trade within the West and Central African Economic Community and also to harmonize and fashion ways of continued business despite the challenges caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.
The event was attended by onion producers, processors and other stakeholders across the African region.