By Olamide Tejuoso
The Nigerian government, in partnership with the Onion and Garlic Processing Partnership Limited (O&G Company), have inaugurated the first Indigenous Onion and Garlic flakes processing plant in Sokoto State. With the commissioning, the National President, National Onion Producers, Processors and Marketers Association of Nigeria (NOPPMAN), Aliyu Isa Maitasamu assured that the plant would reduce the N300 billion post-harvest losses to the barest minimum.
According to him, the country was producing two million tonnes of onion worth N700 billion, but about 40 per cent of them, amounting to N300 billion perished, due to lack of modern storage facilities and processing plants in the country. Maitasamu added that Sokoto alone produces 800,000 tonnes. Commissioning the plant, the Director-General, Raw Materials Research and Development Council (RMRDC), Prof. Hussaini Ibrahim said it was designed and fabricated by Nigerian engineers, following the call by RMRDC to reduce the perennial post-harvest wastages associated with onion and garlic.
“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 industrial scale following successful research and development by the council’s in-house research team”, he said. The chairman of the company, Dr. Saleh Ibrahim, informed that the processed onion and garlic flakes would soon flood the markets. Meanwhile, farmers have been encouraged to partner with experts in the area of agricultural research and development in order to curtail perennial post-harvest losses of produce.