Correspondence from Upper East Region
There is currently a hike in the prices of onions in Bolgatanga in the Upper East Region, GhanaWeb’s Upper East Regional correspondent has confirmed.
Already, there are two kinds of onions sold at the markets Bolga which are namely, the Niger grown and the locally grown onions predominantly grown in areas like Garu, Serbuni, Kulungungu, Mognori Pusiga Jentiiga, all in Bawku.
According to GhanaWeb’s Upper East Regional correspondent, a bag of the locally grown onions which was initially sold between GH¢120 and GH¢150 are now going for GH¢300, while a bag of the Niger grown ones which was sold at GH¢100, is now selling at GH¢170.
Initially, six to seven medium-sized locally grown onions were sold at GH¢2 and currently, about six very small sized ones which are on the verge of getting rotten, are sold for GH¢2.
GhanaWeb’s Upper East Regional correspondent, Sarah Dubure, engaged some dealers in the vegetable selling space to find out more about the development.
A farmer in Bawku, James Abilla Yahaya, attributed the hike in onion price to the just-ended rainy season which did not support the development and growth of onions.
“Onions do well from October to November, when the rains are not there. It does better at that time. You know our land is waterlogged and onions do not want much water.” he noted.
Abilla also indicated that onion farmers had given up the cultivation of onions, as they were not making much profit from them adding that cultivation of the crop was tiring because right after cultivation, they always had to ensure the adequate ventilation was provided in order for the onions not to rot.
“The work involved in dealing with onions is difficult. Even after harvesting them, you have to find a good place to keep them so that they don’t get rotten. You know they get rotten easily”. he observed.
He noted that most of the farmers had discovered new crops that were very lucrative and less stressful to produce.
“Most of the onion farmers in Burkina Faso have also stopped growing onions. The onions we see on the market are actually not from there, but rather from Niger”. he revealed.
“Most of the farmers harvest them prematurely and sell them with their leaves at that stage to the food sellers to make money. If you want to wait for it to mature, there is usually no water during the dry season, so some farmers use water pumps which is very expensive because that requires the use of fuel”. he pointed.
An onion seller in the Bolgatanga old market, Madam Eunice Atongo, stated that the situation was very dire due to the shortage.
“The onions are not there at all. I went to buy a bag to come and be selling, but l didn’t get some the onions are not there. So, l had to buy only the Burkina Faso one,” she said.
She observed that demand for the locally grown ones was high adding that selling them was more profitable too.