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The Tanzania sweet onion (variety of Allium cepa L.) or kitunguu kitamu in Swahili is a low sulfur variety with a white bulb. Its name derives not necessarily from the sugar content but the extremely low sulfur makeup. Combined with plenty of water in the bulb, this kind of onion is milder and less spicy than red and green varieties. Another standalone characteristic is the fact that the bulbs do not emit a powerful smell. The colors range from creamy white to stark yellow. Though Tanzania has lower production costs than neighboring Kenya for this type of onion, it produces as little as 2.9 tons per hectare far from the world mean of 29 tons per hectare due to pests. The country is the number six onion grower in Africa regarding production levels.
The origin of the sweet onion is quite recent as the first varieties grew in the 1900s in the US. Throughout the century, new variations came up. The most famous of these is the ‘million dollars baby’ cultivar from Texas of the 1980s, reputed for its mildness.
Each slice of sweet onion provides the body with about 8 percent of the daily needs of vitamin C. The level of iron is as low as 1 percent, but it is still potent enough to prevent chronic diseases. The concentration of vitamin B-6 stands at 5 percent of the daily requirements, just enough to enhance cell metabolism. Magnesium is present in the vegetable at 2 percent, the same as calcium. Both minerals strengthen the bones and teeth. The dietary fiber margin in the bulb is 3 percent while that of carbohydrates is 2 percent. This type of onion has 5 grams of sugar content that makes it very appealing due to taste.
We source Tanzania sweet onion from the onion-growing Arusha area. Here, our sources own an average of 0.5 hectares where they grow both red and white varieties. Though pest management is a major let down in the area, our farmers use chemical sprays responsibly to make their crop acceptable in the international market. They also forgo the use of commercial fertilizers in favor of farmyard manure.
We harvest Tanzania sweet onions when the bulb has attained a plump size at about three months after planting. We wait for the tops to turn a yellowish color and have begun to droop on the side of the sheath/stem. We use spades and forks to prepare the soil around the plant and then tip the bulb by gloved hands gently off the ground.
We cure Tanzania sweet onions by putting them on an upraised ground where they can dry for several days. We do this hygienically by the use of wire mesh trays that provide aeration even as the fully exposed single-layer rows of onions dry. When they are fully cured, we remove any debris and dirt from them and take them to the packinghouse.
We pack Tanzania sweet onions in 11.3-kilogram weight packages in mesh bags and produce boxes. We also have larger 22.6-kilogram bags. Before putting the bulbs in each bag, we double-check that they are completely dry or well cured. We keep them in a well-aerated area during the packing process. We finish by attaching produce labels featuring our logo, the name of the cultivar, the net weight and the source.
We store Tanzania sweet onions in a cool, dry environment that is dimly lit but well-aerated. We maintain a temperature range of 0 degrees to 5 degrees Celsius. We keep saturation moderate to not offset the cured condition at 65 to 70% relative humidity.
We transport the sweet onions in our ventilated and refrigerated trucks to the Julius Nyerere International Airport on the same day that we pack them. You can, therefore, expect a fresh arrival of the cargo in a day or two depending on the location of your city.
Right from the time you pre-order to the time you receive your cargo of Tanzania sweet onions, you will always have updates on progress from us. We cover such details as the source of the produce from Global Good Agricultural Practices (GAP)-certified farmers to the harvesting and packing dates. We also double-check that we have enough surplus to meet your tonnage by the due date. We also keep our prices very affordable. This is why you need to make an order today!
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