Farmers in onion-producing areas of Wurno, Goronyo and Gada are having hard times as poor market hit the produce.
A visit to the Kara onion depot in the Sokoto capital revealed thousands of sacks of onions filled to capacity just as huge quantity of the commodity is spread all over the place waiting to be bagged.
However, the usual hustle and bustle at the Kara onion market was absent as at the time of the visit.
Onion buyers who used to flood the market around this time every year are not forthcoming and few that did to come do not buy more than two to three sacks.
Every year, around this time, onion gets quite expensive in Sokoto due to high demand from people in the southern part of the country who purchase the commodity in large quantities which they transport to their respective places for sale during the Christmas.
This year, however the commodity is all over the market but without so many buyers.
Alhaji Bawa Mai Albasa, 75, the immediate past chairman of Sokoto State Onion Farmers/Sellers Association attributed the prevailing situation to the economic downturn.
But he was optimistic that despite the seeming glut, a large percentage of the commodity would be sold before Christmas.
An onion merchant, 50-year-old Alhaji Muazu Mai Albasa, who has been in the business for decades, ascribed the abundance of the commodity in the market to the profound investment made by farmers in onion farming this year. He, however, lamented the decrease in patronage.
“Our people have invested heavily in onion this year as you can see, we have more than enough for Christmas customers,” he stated.
Malam Aliyu, a farmer said they responded to government’s call and invested very well in onion farming as such they recorded a bumper harvest.
Onion prices at the depot ranged from N10,000 to N15,000 per sack depending on the quality of produce.
Previously, a sack of onion went for between N30,000 and N50,000 when it was in high demand.
Another farmer, Alhaji Yaro, 45, said he got 32 sacks of the commodity which he sold at N19,000 per sack when he transported it to Lagos.