Do you know that onions is one very essential food commodity that is used in every household and eateries all over Nigeria?
The business of onions is one of the most profitable agricultural business anyone can get involved in. There are so many people out there making millions for naira in this business and that is because they have discovered the right source to get onions very cheap from the north and transport to various parts of the country were they sell at double the amount they buy it. The Aleiro market in Kebbi state is rated as the biggest onion market in Africa, and you can see people from all over Nigeria and even foreigners coming to buy onions in bulk in this market, which they go back to resell and make good profit.
In this market a bag of onions which is 125kg is sold at about N8500 per bag though the prices go up and down from time to time. This period onions is on the high side at this price stated so it is also likely to come down as well.
Now if you buy a bag for N8500, you need to pay between N1000 to N1500 for loading and haulage cost to the southern region like Lagos. That means you can get a full 125kg bag of onions from Kebbi state to Lagos for N9500 or N10000 to other locations like PH and Cross Rivers.
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These bags of onions currently sell for N12,500 in Mile 12 Lagos which is the biggest onions market in Lagos. Once you can get your bags from Kebbi state to your state of business, there are buyers ready for this product. But you have to prepare to negotiate with them in the market and sell at a lesser price like N11,500 or N12,000 so they can resell for their normal price.
Beyond buying and selling the onions, you can also engage into onion farming as it is a very profitable way to make increased money in the onion business.
One of the major reasons why Nigerians fail to provide enough food, for domestic consumption or even export is because, most Nigerians feel farming is a menial job for poor northerners. Onions farming in Nigeria is highly neglected and is considered to be a menial job meant only for the poor Northerners and yet this crop support millions of lives in Nigeria and the world over! In fact there are many families in the Northern part of Nigeria that depend on Onions farming and are living the life of their choice without other people knowing of it.
Onions farming has the capability of making millions for anyone who knows the market value of the crop and is serious with it as business either farming or even doing the buying and selling aspect alone. The truth is, Farming has made people millionaires and you too can become a millionaire with smart agriculture. This article will guide you on how to start an Onion business in Nigeria.
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Here in this post, we are going to give you a breakdown of the steps to start an onion business in Nigeria. We hope you find this post inspiring and useful.
Here’s How To Start Onions Business / Onions Farming In Nigeria
Research/Conduct Feasibility Study
Don’t make the common mistake of delving into a business you know little or nothing about. Take your time to find and research everything about onions.
For starters, There are three types of onions; Red, Yellow and White. This Onions have different physical appearances, Flavor and taste.
Although, the most common one in Nigeria is the white Onions. So I will advise that you deal with the white onions as it is the commonest in the market.
Get a Land
This is the most important part of the business, because obviously you will need a land to farm. However, you can use your personal land or family land provided you take permission from the relevant authorities.
You can also find a landlord and negotiate with him on a rent payment every year or every season. Some farmers split their produce with the landlord as a form of payment, you can do that as well. Try to get a land that is closest to your local market, so that transporting your harvest can be easier.
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For maximum production, Onions are to be grown in seeds and then be transplanted by hand. This will enable you to carefully determine the crop spacing. The best space is usually 1/2 an inch apart and 3/8 inch deep. The rows is best put at 15 inches apart.
Get Suitable Equipment
By farming equipment, I do not mean an automatic multi-tasking tractor. A small set of less expensive tools will do for the meantime. You can get these tools from your local market, a list of them and their prospective prices include;
A RAKE- 1,500 to 2000
A SHOVEL- 3,000 to 4,000
A WATERING CAN- 1,500
FERTILIZER EQUIPMENT- 2500 to 3000
This prices may differ in your local market. However, you can go and find out for yourself.
For Bigger Farm
Tractor (around 45 kW)
Fertilizer equipment (spreader)
Cultivation equipment (harrows)
Tractor mounted fork-lift for field use
Solid-set irrigation equipment per hectare
About 80 half-ton bins per hectare
Maintain The Crop
You have to irrigate the soil regularly and apply fertilizers to the plants. Although some soils are naturally fertile, it is still advisable to apply fertilizer to the soil to yield more produce.
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Fertilizers can be gotten from your local store or an Agric market. You can also buy fertilizer online from stores like Jumia, JiJi E.T.C.
Do not apply too much manure, as this is known to cause the onions to develop thick head and too many leaves as opposed to bulb formation. They are also known to host a lot of insects. Also take your time to weed your farm regularly, this can be done by hand.
Now that you have purchased your equipment, it is time to employ a set of extra hands. You hire local farmers to help out in irrigating your farm and pay them monthly or daily.
You can also employ them to help water the plants at their early stages of development i.e. (Transplanting period). They can also be helpful in weeding the farm.
Seasonal harvest can vary, usually depending on your hard work and commitment. I know of someone very close who harvested 125 bags in his 1 plot farmland. He sold each bag to a company for 15,000 naira each. Onions are usually planted November or December and takes 3 to 4 months to reach maturity.
Usually, harvesting is done by pulling the onion bulbs of the onion plant then removing it from the leaves. After harvesting, it is mandatory you dry the Onions in the sun before storing them.
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This is because moisture can cause fungal disease infestation. After adequate drying of the onions, the bulbs can then be stored ready to be transported to your local market.
Advertising Your Business
Now that you have harvested your produce, it’s time to let people know about your business and sell your products. You can cold pitch your onions to retailers in your local market.
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Please I am interested in starting the onions business. I just finished my NYSC program. Can I get a dealer in kebbi state number or your personal contact
Pls am interested
Please I am interested in the onions business. But I need someone to guide me. Also a contacts in the market. Thanks . Peter