Over two hundred thousand bags of onions worth over N2.5 billion have been destroyed by fire at the Ramin Kura local onion storage facility in Sokoto State.
President Onion Producers and Marketers Association of Nigeria, Aliyu Umar revealed this to newsmen when he visited Ramin Kura for an on-the-spot assessment of the damage done to the facility.
He said the facility contains over twenty local storage facilities that each has the capacity of carrying ten bags of onion, which amounts to two hundred thousand bags, and with the current market price of N12 thousand per bag, this amount to N2.5 billion.
According to him, storing onions at a local facility like Ramin Kura comes with risks such as this, adding, however, that it is because of a lack of modern storage facilities that farmers and traders get to settle for what is availed them.
Mr. Umar expressed fears that this may lead to an onion crisis in the country like the one experienced in 2020 during the outbreak of the Coronavirus as well as the END SARS protests that affected some onion traders.
He appealed to the Federal and State governments to assist farmers and traders to enable them to cushion the effect of this great loss.
The president also called on private business owners to take advantage of the benefits in the onion value chain and invest in modern facilities that will boost onion business in Nigeria.