Monday, 7 September 2009

O N I O N.

A prominent agricultural product to be found in Lagos Metropolitan Area markets is the onion. Historically, the onion ( Allium cepa ) is a herb of Asiatic origins. It is of the lily family with pungent edible bulbs. The onion has a stinging or biting quality of odours, causing a sharp or irritating sensation.
Onion is widely cultivated in the northern part of Nigeria. Like most crops in our markets, it has a season when it is in abundance, as is the case since about five or more weeks ago. Onions are everywhere at affordable prices.
The climatic condition in the northern part of Nigeria,coupled with very large agricultural land- mass and heavily mechanized land cultivation make growing of onions a very profitable business. On top of this bliss, there is a ready market for onions in Lagos.
The point of entry for onions into Lagos is the famous “ Mile 12 Market “ _ which is located at Ikosi-Isheri Local Government Area, along the Ikorodu Express Road in Lagos State. At regular intervals, long-haulage trailers bring in large quantities of freshly –harvested onions into the ‘’Mile 12 Market”. Needless to stress, this market is a bee-hive of activities__wholesale agric merchants, whole-sale buyers, permanent and casual labourers who engage in off-loading neatly packed sacks of onions from trailers, as well as hordes of market women who come in to buy and resell in neighbourhood markets on retail basis.
Virtually all the onions consumed in Lagos Area are grown in the northern part of Nigeria. Before the establishment of the ‘’Mile 12 Market’’, people usually purchase onions wholesale from the ‘’Iddo Market’’,which is located near the Nigerian Railways Terminus. In those days before the discovery of oil, farm-produce from the north were brought into Lagos by rail.There were few trailers and very few highways. The ‘’Iddo Market’’ logically grew up near the railway terminus. But time changes everything! Lagos simply grew to become a large cosmopolitan area and ‘’Iddo Market’’ alone cannot serve the populace; hence the emergence of the ‘’Mile 12 Market”, located several kilometers north of the ‘’Iddo Market’’. Onions and other farm products, especially from the north, e.g. groundnuts [ pea-nuts ] are still available at the Iddo – Market.
When onions are not in season and the prices are high, consumers literally pay through the nose to purchase them. This is so because in this part of the world, onions have no alternative crops to replace them in cooking. When not in season, it is funny to observe onions in ridiculously small sizes that still sell like hot cakes!

No comments:

Post a comment