Onion (Allium cepa) is a vegetable crop grown almost all over the world. It is grown mainly for its bulb, which is used in every home, almost daily. It is rarely used as a sole dish or in large quantities. It’s main use lies in flavouring and seasoning of a wide variety of dishes. Its popularity is due to it’s aromatic, volatile oil, the allyl-prophl sulphide which imports a cherished flavour to food.
As a constituent of a meal, both the green leaves and bulbs can be eaten raw, cooked or flood, or in soups and salads. Onion also has an important role as a medicinal herb in many communities, and is claimed to minimize high blood pressure and other heart diseases due to it’s favourable action on the elasticity of blood vessels. As an item of world trade, onion ranks second in importance after tomatoes among the vegetables.
Onion is grown widely during the wet and dry seasons. However yields are much higher during the dry season because of fewer incidences of pests and diseases. Prices of onion tend to oxalate during the dry season before harvest begins, due largely to the inability of the farmers to store the highly perishable crop.
Onion is one of the most commonly consumed vegetable crops in Nigeria and around the world. In 2012 alone, an estimate of about 240, 000 tons of green onions and 1, 350, 000 tons of dry onions were produced in Nigeria, with the country ranking sixth amongst the top ten producers of green onions in the world, and 11th in terms of dry onions production, with China and Japan respectively on the No. 1 and 2 spots for green onions production, and China and India on the No. 1 and 2 spots when it comes to dry onions production.
Grown mostly in Kano, Kaduna, Jigawa, Sokoto, Plateau, Bauchi and Kebbi States, the Aliero Community, a local council area in Kebbi State, Nigeria, can lay claim as its home in Nigeria.
The harvested onions are preserved in silos because of the absence of modern ways of preserving them. It is sad that most other Nigerian onion producing communities such as Aliero lack modern processing and preservation plants.
Onions are perishable commodity and cannot be stored for a long time after harvest in a ordinary conditions. Onion can be processed into a wide variety of products. Minimally processed ready to use or ready to cook fresh onions, onion paste, dehydrated onion flakes, onion powder, onion oil, onion vinegar, onion sauce, pickled onion, onion wine and beverage etc. The demand for the processed products is increasing day by day due to its convenience to handle and use.
Onion powder is used chiefly as a constituent in various food products i.e. this is sold to manufacturing concerns as a industrial raw material, hotels, restaurants, caterers and domestic consumption. Onion powder has also good export market. Therefore, has a very good scope for new entrants.
This report is to examine the financial viability or otherwise of establishing a onion powder production and packaging plant in Nigeria.
The production capacity of the proposed business is twelve (12) tons for onion powder per day of three (3) shifts of eight (8) hours each working at 80% of the installed capacity in the first, second, third, fourth and fifth year of operations respectively.