Research by the Ghana Agricultural Producers and Traders Organization (GAPTO) in two markets in Accra and Kumasi, has revealed that Ghana imported about $120 million worth of onions in 2010 and 2011, although Ghana grows onions.
In 2012, Ghana News Agency reported that Ghana loses $5 million annually from the importation of onions.
A visit by citifmonline.com to the onion market in Agbogbloshie revealed that, Ghanaians prefer imported onions, especially onions from Niger as compared to the locally grown ones.
Mubarak Yakubu, who has been selling onions for the past five years in an interview said “honestly, in Ghana we don’t have onions like that [the foreign ones]. Our onions are not as good as the Niger ones so Ghanaians prefer Niger onions.”
The Vice Chairman of the Greater Accra Onion Importers and Sellers Association, said “Most people like onion from Niger because it’s different. It’s very sweet, yellowish in color. It’s very big and we buy it with foreign currency”.
According to Yakubu, an increase or decrease in the prices of the onions depends on their encounter with the police and how long it takes the onions to arrive in Ghana.
“The way you bought it over there when you come hear and it is spoilt, you will definitely reduce it,” he said.
He also added that “the price that you bought it over there, before you come the police will also take something from you so you have to add it to it. That makes the price sometimes go higher.”
Yakubu admonished that to reduce the importation of onions, we as a people should have more plantations, learn how the Nigeriens do it and implement it in Ghana so as to also help reduce the high cost of onions.