AN Agriculture Extension expert, Mr. Samson Adesanya, has explained the rationale behind low production of onions in the South-Western part of Nigeria.
Adesanya said the climatic conditions of the South-West do not favour massive cultivation of onions like that of the Northern part of the country.
According to Adesanya, who spoke with OSUN DEFENDER in an exclusive interview yesterday, South-West is more of rain forest agro-ecological zone, which does not support planting of onions in commercial quantities.
He said: “In Nigeria, onions are grown mostly in Kano, Kaduna, Jigawa, Sokoto, Plateau, Bauchi and Kebbi states. In 2012 alone, an estimate of about 240,000 tonnes of green onions and 1,350,000 tonnes of dry onions were produced in Nigeria.
“Soils of these areas in the North are mostly low in nutrients due to low organic matter contents, which gives them higher advantage, compared to the South-West.
“We all know onions and how they are highly demanded in the market, but everybody thinks onions only grow in the Northern part of Nigeria. I want to tell you that onions actually grow in the South too.
“In the South-West, onions grow in Osun, Oyo and Ondo states. But as we all know that South-West is more of rain forest agro-ecological zone of Nigeria and that is affecting the commercial production of the commodity.
“There is a local production in the South-West, but we all know that onions are mostly grown in the Northern part of the country in general.”
Adesanya further stressed that if there is blockage of onions from the North, it will definitely affect it price here in the South because of the high demand here.
He said the Northern states have a greater advantage when it comes to production of onions because they have all it takes due to their climatic conditions and other things which make the massive plantation of onions possible compared to the South-West.
The agriculture expert opined that the problem attached to the low production of the commodity in the South-West is because farmers are not being encouraged to do more.
Adesanya said the government needs to encourage the farmers by providing cultivable land, adequate funds, and necessary equipments for the large-scale production of onions.