Madurai

‘Pest attack hits shallot yield’

We have suffered hefty loss, say farmers

TIRUNELVELI

Despite good and timely rainfall, the shallot growers have suffered huge loss this year as the pest attack triggered by the downpour has affected the quantity and quality of the onion.

Farmers of Vilaaththikulam area, who had cultivated shallot on over 80,000 acre in September-end, were expecting bumper crop following good rainfall and excellent price for their produce as the entire country was buying this variety at an unprecedented exorbitant price of ₹165 per kg. Farmers who had even cultivated chilli or black gram had planted shallot as intercrop.

However, the continuous downpour that lashed the district for a few days recently has triggered pest attack in the crop that has badly affected the yield. Moreover, the extreme moisture content in air has intensified the pest attack further, the farmers say.

“The pest attack has seriously affected the yield as we are getting only 3 quintals per acre now while the actual yield would be 10 qunitals per acre in normal conditions. We’ve spent over ₹ 30,000 per acre towards ploughing, for buying seeds, spraying pesticides, harvesting the crop etc. Since the pest attack has also affected the quality of the produce, the traders are buying the shallot for ₹ 60 to 80 per kg and hence we’ve suffered huge loss despite good rainfall this year,” said farmer P. Appanasamy of Bhoothalaapuram.

Farmer and panchayat president of Bhoothalaapuram Vellaisamy said the State Government should procure the shallot from the farmers at an affordable procurement price and sell it to the consumers through the ration shops across Tamil Nadu since the onion price in the market had skyrocketed. “Besides controlling the price, this effort will help the shallot growers also,” Mr. Vellaisamy said.

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Printable version | Feb 27, 2020 2:25:59 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Madurai/pest-attack-hits-shallot-yield/article30278346.ece

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