Bahir Dar Technology Institute Finds out Cost-Effective Means of Preserving Onions—One of the Big Problems for Ethiopian Farmers

In most places in Ethiopia, onion is among the main income generating vegetables for farmers and is an eminent ingredient of whatever food Ethiopians use to eat. However, Ethiopian farmers are found to have no appropriate mechanisms to preserve it for a long time. As a result, once it is raped and harvested, it must be on the market for sale as immediately as possible. The problem here is, its price may often be considerably lowered by the time the onion is harvested due to the glut created. Trying to wait for the time the market rises up again will result in an enormous loss of the harvest as it can easily be spoiled.

To tackle this problem, members of the post harvest food program in the Faculty of Food and Chemical Engineering at the institute, funded by BiT’s Community Service and Industry Linkage office and BiT ASMIC project, are trying to solve this crucial problem that Ethiopian farmers face. Dr.Nilla Satish, Muhammed Ahmed, and Bekelech Getachew, led by Dr. Solomon Workneh, the chair holder of  post harvest technology,  were committed to conduct a research for 8 months on the means of preserving this harvest and built a prototype well ventilated onion storage in Dera woreda of South Gondar at Jigna kebele.

As a result, using the insights gained from this research and the prototype storage already built as part of this project, a one day training was given to 65 farmers and 4 Agricultural Development Agents in Dera Woreda at Jinka Kebele on the cost- effective means of preserving onion , with a plan to scale it up to other areas by these farmers and agents.