NIGERIA – The National President of the National Onion Producers, Processors and Marketers Association of Nigeria (NOPPMAN), Aliyu Isa Maitasamu has pointed out that Nigeria is going to reduce around N300 billion (US$650m) from post-harvest losses to the barest minimum with the newly commissioned onion and garlic flakes processing plant.

According to Maitasamu, the country was producing two million tons of onion worth N700bn. Unfortunately, about 40 percent of them amounting to N300bn (US$650m) perished due to a lack of modern storage facilities and processing plants in the country.

The indigenous onion and garlic processing plant based in Sokota is run by Onion and Garlic Processing Partnership Limited (O&G company).

“The council, in collaboration with Afri-Generic synergy farms, Chimbilco Technical, and Sokoto Investment and Property Company have worked assiduously to see to the objective of processing onion and garlic into flakes on an industrial scale following successful research and development by the council’s in-house research team,” Director General, Raw Materials Research and Development (RMRDC), Prof. Hussaini Ibrahim said.

“Today marks an important milestone for the manufacturing industry in Nigeria as we commission the first wholly indigenous onion and garlic flakes processing plant. I am particularly delighted that this plant was designed and fabricated by Nigerian engineers following the call by the Council to reduce the perennial post-harvest wastages associated with onion and garlic.”

He advised farmers to partner with experts in agricultural research and development to curtail perennial post-harvest losses of produce.

Mr. Ibrahim added that having an effective processing plant for agricultural products and initiating research-based storage would improve food security in the country.

“This development will aid our commitment toward zero hunger, promote productivity and profitability among farmers, improve the national economy, and address the challenges of unemployment,” he said, pointing out that over the past three decades, the RMRDC has remained the national institutional framework for promoting local raw materials development and utilization by industries.

The Chairman of the company, Saleh Ibrahim, said some elites in the state conceived the idea to rescue onion and garlic farmers from their perennial post-harvest losses.

He explained that the plant would continue to consider more research and development to ease the current hardships experienced by farmers across the state.

The Sultan of Sokoto, Muhammad Sa’ad Abubakar, represented by the district head of Sokoto-North, Alhaji Malami Sheikh, noted that the Sultanate Council was working with the Central Bank of Nigeria to provide loans to farmers and entrepreneurs in the state.

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