In Senegal’s capital Dakar, 25-kilogram sacks of onions are piled up on pavements, skipped over by passers-by.
- Senegal has too many onions, and too a range of them are downhearted quality
- Farmers blame foreign competition and a lack of storage
- They fabricate about 450,000 tonnes of onions yearly
The West African nation is within the course of a supply glut, with costs plummeting and heaps of the pungent greens left to rot by the roadside.
Farmers are in despair.
“I’m going to give some to the local females,” farmer Diongue Masseye acknowledged as he gazed despondently at his onions.
He spoke as he stood inner a huge warehouse in Bambilor, an onion-producing town about 30 kilometres north-east of the capital Dakar.
His unsold fabricate had started to sprout.
Increased foreign competition and lack of storage brought about the intense abundance of supply, farmers acknowledged.
However the manager acknowledged farmers overproduced this year, flooding the market with onions and depressing costs.
A 25kg sack of onions fetched the same of about 13 euros ($20) about a months ago.
Now the same sack is charge about $12.
The director of Senegal’s market law agency, Amadou Abdoul Sy, acknowledged round 200,000 farmers worked within the onion sector.
Onions are a lifeline to many within the nation of 16 million folks.
They’re a key ingredient within the nationwide fish-and-rice dish, Thieboudienne, and one other dish, Yassa chicken.
Senegal’s onion sector has lengthy been tormented by issues.
Almost a third of the carve is misplaced yearly, Mr Sy acknowledged.
The UN’s Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) noted in a 2018 document that the usage of low-quality seeds by Senegalese farmers contributed to the topic.
On the general, producers harvest their onions early to procure earlier than the competition, leaving the greens wet.
This leads to predominant losses and makes onions advanced to store, the FAO acknowledged.
Patrons are shying away from the damaged items.
Seller Daouda Mbaye, in a market in a village in western Senegal, showed sacks of downhearted-quality onions and acknowledged traders were extra in other greens.
However to the scare of local farmers, many folks will make a selection imported onions.
‘Prey to unfair competition’
The president of Senegal’s onion producers association, Boubacar Sall, acknowledged the manager suspended onion imports in January to help struggling locals.
However foreign-owned farms in Senegal were aloof producing onions, he acknowledged.
They are in overall better than other Senegalese farms, and dangle better storage products and services.
Onion farmers are calling for legislation to give protection to minute producers who fall prey to unfair competition from better ones.
The scarcity of storage products and services is a power topic in Senegal, where a warm local climate potential greens speedily high-tail snide.
Farmer Mr Masseye acknowledged the manager ought to provide refrigerated storerooms to ease tension on producers.
However Mr Sy acknowledged producers were also partly to blame.
He acknowledged the manager had asked farmers to sell their items at assorted cases to stop a supply glut.
“They [authorities] weren’t listened to [by the farmers],” Mr Sy acknowledged.
While farmers are sad, some buyers are chuffed.
One consumer in Bambilor, Astou Ndiagne, smiled when asked about the lower costs.
“This is allowing us to assign cash,” she acknowledged.