Onion marketers’ capacity gaps and constraints in northwest Nigeria
Onion marketing is crucial for sustainable development of the value chain. The study examined onion marketers’ socioeconomics characteristics, information and training needs as well as constraints in marketing onion. Primary data was collected with the aid of questionnaire from selected major onion markets in Kano and Kebbi states and analysed using descriptive statistics. Most of the marketers were males (99.6%); married (95.3%) aged between 30 - 49 years (54%). About half of the marketers (50.2%) had more than 15 years marketing experience, while 65.7% are wholesalers and 71.2% sourced their produce from farmers. Information needs of the marketers included source of produce (95.7%); pricing information (94.8%); packaging methods (92.3%); market channel (91.8%) while the most important training needs are on processing (91.0%); preservation and storage in the course of marketing onion (89.3%); source of produce and sourcing for credit/loan (85.8%). The preferred mode of packaging is bag (51.9%) and most of the marketers (64.8%) were not aware of the plastic crates. Major constraints to onion marketing were high cost of transportation and inadequate storage facilities (88%). Capacity building in the identified areas of information and training needs to improve contribution of the commodity to food security and economic empowerment is recommended.