Onion production is one of the core activities of farmers at the Nhararai Muone irrigation scheme in the Manica cluster. The scheme has about 40 farmers each growing a range of crops on about 1 ha each.

Onions have been a profitable crop for these farmers, with regular sales to local traders. A recent BAGC study found that there is more local demand for horticultural products including onions. This includes from local traders like Justino Jorge who buys about 1 mt of onions each week from local farmers and sells at Catanga market.

Larger buyers like Megafresh and Shoprite are also intertested in local production – but in many cases these buyers are more demanding – wanting regular quality supplies, usually once a week.

Nhararai Muone farmers with their onion crop

BAGC is now working both with the farmer suppliers and the traders to develop more regular production schedules that both achieve quality protocols as well as specific pricing points and agreements on delivery schedules. BAGC has also recently recruited a Marketing Director to help in the coordination and aggregation of specific crops for these local markets.

To boost access to markets, BAGC is also in detailed discussions with a large commercial farmer in the region to explore the use of his cold stores and packing lines to aggregate production of crops likle onions. From this it is planned that farmers like those at the Nhararai Muone Association will gain access to larger formal markets.