Farmers launch new onions bags to reduce post-harvest loss
Aliyu Maitasamu, the president of the National Onion Producers, Processors and Marketers Association of Nigeria (NOPPMAN), says it has introduced new mesh bags to store onions.
The bags, which replace the conventional nylon and jute bags, enhance the reduction in post-harvest losses. The association introduced the bags to its members on Monday in Sokoto.
“We are collaborating with a firm, Albasa Agritech Nigeria ltd., to promote the use of the improved and standardised packaging using the new bag. Using the bag will also promote the uniformity of onion’s packaging across Nigeria,” said Mr Maitasamu. “It will also make the Nigerian onion globally unique in terms of brand name and packaging. We want to sell our onions in a branded form, so we chose the green colour well known with Nigeria.”
The NOPPMAN president explained that the new bag would bolster the preservation of onion, improve its shelf life and boost its quality in storage.
“It will also enhance value addition for buyers and sellers and boost the economy,” Mr Maitasamu added.
According to him, between 50 per cent and 60 per cent of the more than 1.4 million tons of onions produced in Nigeria go to post-harvest losses.
“Post-harvest losses are now expected to be reduced to between 30 per cent and 40 per cent using the new bag. A lot of post-harvest losses are recorded while onions are in transit,’’ he said.
The head of the Sokoto Smarts Office of the Nigeria Exports Promotion Council, Ahmed Yahaya, commended the association for its forward-looking approach to reducing post-harvest losses.
“The new bag, which takes 50kg of onions, is better than the old ones which take 59 kg or 80kg. The bag currently in use has no fixed weight. With the new bag, the seller and buyer will get more value for money,’’ Mr Yahaya said.
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