BHUBANESWAR: IN a bid to increase availability of onion in the State round the year, the State Government has launched 'onion value chain improvement' project in six districts to deal with post harvest loss reduction of the vegetable.
The Asian Vegetable Research Development Centre (AVRDC), a not-for profit international agricultural research institute, has been supporting the State Government by promoting onion production during kharif season.
The project is implemented in six major onion producing districts of Angul, Balangir, Boudh, Kalahandi, Nuapada and Ganjam with a budget outlay of Rs 2.52 crore. The programme is funded by the State Government with support from the Centre’s Rashtriya Krishi Vikas Yojana (National Agriculture Development Scheme).
AVRDC, a wing of the World Vegetable Centre, has given a new alternative to the farmers of the State by promoting onion production during the wet summer or kharif season, a practice that was never considered possible because of waterlogging problems, said sources in the Horticulture department.
The programme is guided by Arshad Ahmad Pal, post-harvest specialist and Principal Investigator in the World Vegetable Centre's South Asia regional office in Telengana.
Piloted in the six districts in 2016, the programme was a big success with the farmers getting a yield of about 17 tonnes per hectare (ha) compared to 12 tonnes during rabi season, the sources said.
The farmers are now keen on expanding kharif onion production, the sources said adding, the government is contemplating to roll out the programme to other districts after successful completion of the project next year.
Onions are grown in winter season in the State and farmers sell their crop right after the harvest due to lack of storage facility. The State has to depend on Maharashtra, Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh to meets its requirement.
Project implemented in six major onion producing dists of Angul, Balangir, Boudh, Kalahandi, Nuapada and Ganjam
2016 pilot project in the six dists was success with farmers getting a yield of 17 tonnes per ha against 12 tonnes in rabi season