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Large market potential for onions in Ghana

An analysis of the onion market in Ghana would pave the way for future investments in the commodity value chain. The Bawku red and Galmi onion varieties are the most commonly cultivated varieties in Ghana. Due to the perennial scarcity of domestic onion supply and the influx of imports from neighboring countries, suitable and sustainable farming practices may be able to lessen reliance on these imports.

As of 2019, onion yields in Ghana were estimated to be approximately 19  tons per hectare (mt/ha) (MoFA, 2019). Meanwhile, other sources have estimated that the Bawku red cultivar will require between 10 and 20 mt/ha of land for production. Other cultivars produce 3.7  tons per hectare under rain-fed conditions and 12  tons per hectare under irrigation, with an average yield of 3.3  tons per hectare (MoFA, 2019).

Even during peak onion production in Ghana, local onion output falls far short of the demand in the country. As a result, traders rely on imported onions to keep up with demand. At the moment, the onion market in Ghana is expanding at an annual rate of 11 per cent (DFID, 2014). Based on this rather rapid market expansion, onion production appears to be sustainable in the long term, and it will continue to provide good value to the smallholder farmers and households who are involved in its production.


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