Onions, Allium cepa, is a bulbing of the Liliaceae family. Onions are vegetables with a repetitive succession of fleshy layers with a pungent aroma. They are used around the world as a seasoning for food, either fresh or dried. The onions include spring onions, potato onions, Chinese onions, leeks, garlic, e.t.c. In Nigeria, onions are majorly grown in the North due to the climatic conditions.
Facts About Onions
Benefits of Onions
Onions contain very low sodium and calories, and no fat or cholesterol. Also, they contain folic acid and vitamin B that help the body makes healthy new cells. Onions contain lots of antioxidants that help prevent conditions like cancer and diabetes.
Onions are mostly used fresh in cooking different dishes. It can also be made into powder, paste, pickle, etc. They can be used as medicine to treat fever and cold. They have also been proven to have antibacterial activities, limiting the activities of certain bacteria. Thus, they can be employed to prevent tooth decay.
Best grown during the dry season.
Rich, well-drained soil.
Sow seed in rows made in raised seedbeds. The rows should be around 7cm apart and 1.5cm deep. The seeds are expected to germinate between 8-15 days. Water the nursery in the mornings alone or twice depending on the temperature. Thin the seedlings out to 1 seed at 2-3 cm apart. Once the plants are about 15cm in height or about 35-45 days in the nursery, transplant them to growing beds.
Gently uproot the onion seedlings and trim the leaves. Transplant on seedbeds with a spacing of 20cm/20cm. Handle seedlings carefully during transplant to avoid destroying the tender bulb.
Fertilize, water, and weed the onions beds frequent enough. Reduce the watering as they continue to grow and stop completely 2 weeks before harvest. To prevent the spread of infection, remove sick plants. When the leaves begin to yellow, lay them down on the soil. This helps the onion bulbs increase in size.
The pest and disease of Onions include Thrip, Caterpillar, Leafminer, Pink rot, Bacterial soft rot, purple blotch, Stemphylium leaf blight, etc. This can be combatted by spraying with organic or inorganic pesticide, fungicide, or handpicking of pest.
Harvest 3-4 months after sowing when the leaves are completely dried. After harvesting, leave them on the field to completely dry. If it is raining, dry them under a shaded place.
Preserve onion in a cool, aerated and dry place.
Although they can be used fresh, onions can be processed into onion powder.
States Onions are Predominantly Found in Northern Nigeria
Some of the states onions are grown in Northern Nigeria include; Kano, Kaduna, Jigawa, Sokoto, Plateau, Bauchi and Kebbi States.
Major markets of Onions in Northern Nigeria
|KADUNA||Kasuwan Dan Magaji, Kasuwan Sabon Gari, Kasuwan Samaru, Kasuwan Giwa.|
|KATSINA||Kasuwan Danja, Kasuwan Chunko.|
|KANO||Kasuwan Wanbai, Kasuwan Wudil, Kasuwan Danbatta, Kasuwan Yan kaba, Kasuwan Sabon gari.|
|KEBBI||Kasuwan Zuru, Kasuwan Sakaba, Kasuwan Suru, Kasuwan Jega, Kasuwan Aleiro, Kasuwan Wasagu, Kasuwan Arewa Dandi, Kasuwan Shanga.|
|NIGER||Kasuwan Gwari, Sabon Kasuwa|
|PLATEAU||Kasuwan Building Material, Kasuwan Farin Gada|
|SOKOTO||Kasuwan Wamako, Kasuwan Sabon Birni, Kasuwan Goronyo, Kasuwan Illela, Kasuwan Gwadabawa, Kasuwan Kebbe, Kasuwan Rabah, kasuwan Goronyo, Kasuwan Binji.|
|YOBE||Kasuwan Tashar Kuka, Kasuwan Jaji Maje, Kasuwan Garin Alkali, Kasuwan Yusufari, Kasuwan Yunusari.|
|GOMBE||Ashaka Gari, Juggol Barkono, Kodom, Malam Sidi, Kurugu, Mana Washi, Kasuwan Dadin kowa.|
|JIGAWA||Kasuwan Mai gatari, Kasuwan Gujungu, Kasuwan Sara, kasuwan Hadejia, Kasuwan Kafin Hausa, Kasuwan Shuwarin.|