A Kano-based farmer has developed a local on-farm storage system capable of keeping onions for over six months with the freshness and quality intact.
Speaking with Daily Trust in Kaduna recently, the onion farmer, Abubakar Jibril Madigawa, disclosed that when tomato farming became less lucrative due to Tuta absoluta in seen, which ravaged many farms about two years ago, he shifted to onions production but encountered storage challenges.
“In order to overcome the storage problem, I developed an on-farm local storage technology which can keep onions very fresh for more than six months.
“I sell the onions when I am comfortable with the price as the system prolongs the period of storage,” the farmer revealed.
He said the system reduces wastage by between 70 and 80% thereby allowing him to make better profit.
Madigawa pointed out that he first built the storage system on a pilot basis at home, tested it and discovered that it was effective and excellent before constructing a bigger and long lasting one on the farm.
“I built a highly ventilated shed and constructed tall shelves with several steps made up of strong wood and wire mesh which the onions are spread evenly inside and they remain intact for long,” he noted.
He described the storage system as cost effective and advised onion farmers to embrace the technology and avoid wastages which lead to serious financial losses on their farms.
The farmer said the storage system may cost some money initially, but any farmer who invests in it will definitely benefit a lot in the long run.
Madigawa urged the government to assist farmers with soft loans to construct such local storage systems, which have been found to be effective, so as to improve their livelihoods.