Is it not strange that southern Nigeria that is so blessed with the best of climatic conditions- sufficient rainfall, good sunshine, very rich soil, deep consumption/purchasing power capacity and other great demographics that God blessed nature with, depend on other parts of Nigeria that are less endowed for their food commodities?
ONIONS AND TOMATOES ORCHARDS GROW FAR BETTER IN THE SOUTH Today, I shall summarise the dynamics and economics of Onion’s orchard development in the south of Nigeria for the benefits of those, who are too lazy to read long articles.
Kindly note that annual onions consumption in Nigeria is 2.5million tons. Domestic production is 1.4million tons. This leaves a domestic supply gap of 1.1million ( Source: CBN Agric Officer, Sokoto, Abdulahi Farouk)
1. Cost of Cultivating a hectare (12 to 15 plots) of onions ranges between N500,000 to N1,800,000.00
2. Gestation period: 180 days
3. Soil Type: Sandy loam or silty clay loam with internal drainage ( just like most of the soil type/quality in the south-east of Nigeria )
4.Water needs Good quality water for 2 to 4 hectares inches for every hectare per week.
5. OUTPUT: Output of dried Onion Bulbs per hectare ranges between, 15 to 30 tons of per Hectare. I.e. 150 to 300 bags of onions ( each 100kg).
Kindly note that a 100kg bag of onions today is N70,000.00 at Ketu Wholesale market.
6. Human Capital Requirements: 5 labour hands per hectare. Kindly note that more hands are required at harvest because it is very labour-intensive then.
For mechanized farming in huge clusters of the land of up to 100 hectares and above: Tractor, shredder, disk, bedder, planter, herbicide sprayer, insect/disease knapsack sprayer, cultivator, weeder and trailer trucks are needed.
7. PROFITABILITY: Onions farming is very profitable. All things being equal, you can make as much as N1.5 million to N4million per hectare as net profit
RISK AND MITIGANTS
Just like every other agripreneurship venture, the risk of onions orchard development is mid to high.
But most of these risks have been identified and adequate mitigants put in place. The orchards will be optimally insured with NAIC and privately owned insurance companies.
We are developing a 20-hectare onions orchard at the SEFAPCOL Agro-industrial park in Ohafia, Abia state. And 10 hectares in Okigwe.
We are also clearing 100 more hectares for interested agripreneurs and potential agripreneurs that may want to own a hectare or more with shared security and mechanized infrastructure/ facilities that provide added comfort for their investments.
In every challenge and obstacles, there are windows of opportunities. In the abundance of water, only the ignorant and perhaps, fools wallow in thirst.
For our Governors in the South East, seeking to empower our youths, please don’t share monies to those, who cannot sweat and multiply wealth. Don’t indulge in impulsive and populism pursuit money sharing schemes and artisanship that deepen poverty amongst our people.
N1billion will create at least 2,000 agripreneurs under this one line onions and other veggies cultivation scheme that will make each of them multimillionaires in 6 months.
Contact us to help you in designing, structuring, execution, management and monitoring of a wholly PPP and transparently driven youth empowerment schemes across all the key areas in Horticulture and agripreneurship schemes that add sustainable value to all stakeholders.
Dr Nnaemeka Onyeka Obiaraeri, FICA