Onion

Amhara region is one of the major onions producing areas in Ethiopia, and has seen an increase in onion production in recent years. Onion is grown mainly for its bulb, which is consumed in every home in different ways, almost daily, across Ethiopia.  

The government’s commitment to support farmers by investing large amounts of money to expand irrigation schemes has created conducive ground for onion production, and  improving of farmer incomes.

AgroBIG has been promoting the onion value chain to benefit farmers as well as other actors. Onion bulbs and seeds are mostly grown in Fogera, Libokemkem and Dera target districts.

Many farmers use improved onion seeds.  On average, households in these districts allocate about 0.14 ha of land to onion bulb production, and yields average 175.7 quintals per hectare. However, due to involvement of large numbers of brokers and poor market linkage facilitation, farmers are unable to sell onion directly to big buyers. The involvement of large numbers of brokers has reduced farmers’ margins.

Learn about AgroBIG interventions in the onion value chain:

Extract from the Onion Value Chain Analysis (2018)

Video on how AgroBIG has supported the development a more formal seed system for onion and potato which results in better access to improved, disease free seeds while the seed producers, on the other hand, find themselves within a lucrative business.

Video on how AgroBIG has focused on creating a healthier marketing system for example by linking the cooperatives and bigger buyers in order to ensure that the farmers also get their share within the onion value chain.

Links to News pieces: 

  • How Farmer Field Schools are improving the productivity of selected vegetables, including onion: here and here.
  • How on-farm trials have demonstrated the differences between improved versus traditional agronomic practices on the yield and market value of onion here.