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Onions to flood markets

Staff Reporter
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Thanks to good harvest of small onions in Vilathikulam taluk

In surplus: S. Raja Mohammed, Assistant Director, Department of Horticulture, inspecting farmers grading onions. — Photo: N. Rajesh
In surplus: S. Raja Mohammed, Assistant Director, Department of Horticulture, inspecting farmers grading onions. — Photo: N. Rajesh

Farmers of Keezha Vilathikulam, Ramachandrapuram and Malleswarapuram of Vilathikulam taluk in Tuticorin district were happy since early harvesting of small onion could give more profit.

But with an increase in production, they were keeping their fingers crossed for getting better price for the produce.

Around 2,000 tonnes of small onions were expected to flood the market this month-end, horticulture officials said.

The farmers were advised to adopt post-harvest management practices such as cleaning, grading and others to earn a better price.

Action plan

With an action plan during October 2010 to increase the area of cultivation to a considerable extent, production of this crop would be more.

Prices of onions would come down after Pongal following the arrival of onions to markets. Anyway Pongal would bring cheers to the farmers.

Farmers preferred cultivation of small onions rather than chillies. Tropical conditions with sufficient soil moisture are conducive for growth of small onions.

As many as 1,018 hectares was brought under the cultivation of small onion this year as against the normal level of 700 hectares, M. Syed Ahamed Miranji, Deputy Director of Horticulture, Tuticorin, told ‘The Hindu.'

Although Tuticorin experienced heavy rainfall in November and December 2010, it did not cause any damage to the onion crop.

No damage

The crop was neither under germination stage nor under bulb formation stage, said S. Raja Mohamed, Assistant Director of Horticulture, Vilathikulam.

Farmers heeded to the advice of horticulture officials and adopted plant protection measures to prevent disease in onion. The crops were thus saved.

“I have cultivated small onion on six acres during October 2010. Now, I am expecting 6,000 kg from my field. I would get about Rs. 3,000 to Rs. 4,000 per quintal if I could market onion before Pongal,” K. Subba Reddiyar of Keezha Vilathikulam said.

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