The President of the National Onions Producers, Processors, and Marketers Association of Nigeria (NOPPMAN), Aliyu Maitasamu Isah has appealed to the Federal Government to come into their aids in the area of numerous challenges facing the commodity sector.
Isah, who was represented by his deputy, Dr Mansur Muhammad Aliero made the appeal during the official launching of NOPPMAN and other commodity associations by the Federal Ministry of Industry, Trade and Investment (FMITI), in Nicon Luxury Hotel, Abuja.
Isah explained that Onion is a popular vegetable crop whose unique flavour and medicinal values are appreciated globally, its bulbs can be transformed into various products such as Onion Flakes, onion powder, and onion oil, which serve as raw material.
He maintained that the fact that Nigeria, export onions to the Niger Republic, Ghana, Burkina Faso, Benin Republic, Mali, Cote d’Ivoire, etc. he noted that recently, the high commission of India has granted the Association the opportunity to export onion to India despite being the second-largest producer in the world
NOPPMAN boss said, in line with the National Economic Development plan to diversify the economy from crude oil to non-oil agricultural commodities to uplift ten million (10 million) youths out of the abject poverty in Nigeria, the Association is working hard to contribute its quota through the promotion of the onion value chain for food security, job security, and wealth creation.
He noted that Nigeria’s Onion is rated among the best onions in the world for its strong pungency, saying despite this competitive advantage in onion production and being the largest onion-producing country in sub-Saharan Africa, Nigeria produces about 1.4 million metric tons annually, which is below its local demand of about 2.5 million metric tons annually.
Isah said in order to meet this target, the Federal government should into their aid in the area of the payment system, export expansion facility programme, double currency conversion, storage facility, and others.
According to him, “we are appealing to Minister FMITI to champion the implementation of the pan African payment settlement system in Nigeria, which was launched in Accra Ghana on the 13th of January, 2022.
“We are humbly requesting the FMITI to make the way for NOPPMAN through NEPC to include us in the Export Expansion Facility Programme to strengthen our co-farmers in the country.
“We ask you to look into the issue of the double conversion rate experience by our members outside the country as with the currencies of the countries importing our products in CFA and the window available for repatriation excludes these currencies. If we have to repatriate using the available windows, we have to then incur double losses arising from the conversion of CFA to the dollar and subsequent conversion of dollar to naira.
“Lack of storage facility is our major challenge, provision of storage systems to the onion farmers will help to reduce post-harvest losses significantly. The lack of onion processing companies is also strongly hindering our great association as most of the onion produced is consumed in a raw form without further value addition and this, in turn, leads to the loss of employment to our teeming youth.
“Last but not the least, Financing, NOPPMAN just like any other agricultural commodity association need financial strengthening in form of grants, soft-loan or anchor borrower institution. program from the apex bank or any financial
“Finally, on behalf of NOPPMAN, I wish to extend our sincere appreciation to the Leadership of the Federation of Agricultural Commodities of Nigeria (FACAN) under the umbrella of the Federal Ministry of Industries, trade, and Investment (FMITI) for their immense contribution to the development of our great Association and providing the enabling environment for the onion stakeholder in Nigeria”.
Lagos Post Online