Tiruchirapalli

Perambalur onion farmers face crop losses

A woman picking onions in Thenur village, Perambalur district

A woman picking onions in Thenur village, Perambalur district   | Photo Credit: M. SRINATH

Widespread rot and botrytis diseases have led to farmers having to destroy crop at a time when onion prices are high

At a time when the price of shallots is still rocketing over ₹130 a kg in various parts of the State, farmers in Perambalur district have been destroying their standing onion crops due to widespread rot and botrytis diseases.

Perambalur district is a big player among small onions growing districts in the state. Small onions are cultivated on an area of about 8,000 hectares in the district, with a production of 65,000 to 70,0000 tonnes. During the current year too, farmers had brought more than 8,000 hectares under onion cultivation. While a section of them had sowed in September, others chose early October to raise the 65 to 70-day crop. By this time, the harvest should have reached its peak. On the contrary, farmers in many places are destroying the standing crop which have been affected by diseases.

Chettikulam is the main onion cultivation centre in the district. But farmers are in distress due to total failure of the crop. They have totally destroyed the crop. Only a few farmers in Thenur, Kallanguthu, Nakkaselam, and Navalapuram could manage to produce less than one-third of their planned production.

“Had I managed to achieve normal production, I could have sold onion for ₹4 lakh. But, I had to hurriedly harvest the crop 10 days before the maturity period due to rot disease,’ says R. Sundararaju, a farmer of Thennur, who had raised onions on one-and- half-acres in Thenur. He said that he had spent ₹70,000 for raising shallots. But, he could produce just 10 bags (of 75 kg each), as against the average production of 45 bags.

While Sundararaju managed to harvest part of his cultivation, G. Raja, another farmer in Thenur had to completely destroy the disease-hit crop on his field. He said his entire field was infected by rot disease due to the extended spells of rain in October and November. After having spent about ₹50,000 under various overhead charges, he said he had destroyed the crop totally. The State government should enumerate crop losses so as to compensate the farmers adequately, he said.

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Printable version | Feb 24, 2020 8:17:50 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Tiruchirapalli/perambalur-onion-farmers-face-crop-losses/article30348193.ece

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