One lakh seedlings given to farmers trained by Krishi Vigyan Kendra yield a bumper crop
The Thrissur Krishi Vigyan Kendra’s efforts to promote onion farming in the district are reportedly yielding results.
More than one lakh seedlings given to farmers trained by KVK have yielded a bumper crop this season, according to Ranjan S. Karippai, head of Thrissur KVK.
“The KVK had initiated trials in onion farming two years ago. In the first step, the viability of onion cultivation was ascertained. Once in-house trials proved that the North Indian crop can be raised in our soil and climatic conditions, the KVK identified the varieties best suited for the State and formulated appropriate farming protocols. Training was imparted to farmers and seedlings raised in the KVK farm were distributed to them,” he says.
Chathiyath Vijayan Menon, a former Central government employee based in the city, was one of the farmers.
“I have seen onion farms in India and abroad, but never did I believe that the vegetable can be grown in the humid conditions of Kerala. I attended the training out of sheer curiosity, took 300-odd seedlings and planted them in grow-bags placed on my terrace. I have received a yield of 70 kg onion this season,” says Mr. Menon.
P.S. Radhakrishnan, another farmer, says that that poison-free vegetables may be had in this age of commercialism only if people resort to homestead farming.
Having tasted the success of onion farming, he is planning to cultivate the vegetable in more land the next season.
Sathy Chandragupthan of Perinjanam, recipient of a State award for farming, says it is easy to cultivate onion. “Onion crops require very little care. Once the crop grows, it needs only controlled watering,” she says.Best season
KVK scientist Jalaja S. Menon, who has researched on onion farming, says that the three months from November-December or March to April is the best season for onion cultivation.
Dr. Karippai says that onion farming will be extended to more locations in the district next season.
The Thrissur KVK is also exploring the possibilities of collaborative ventures with other KVKs and research stations of KAU to promote onion farming in other parts of the State.