Water scarcity brings tears to onion ryots near Tindivanam
By Karal Marx L | Published: 28th October 2013 11:23 AM |
With the price of onions soaring every day, farmers in the district are seeking assistance to irrigate the crop.
While in some areas near Tindivanam onion harvest is in progress, farmers say only a few of them have taken up onion cultivation due to a lack of adequate water for irrigation.
Moreover, they say, onion seeds are available only in January, when the area gets very little rainfall. Onion growers in Tindivanam region say if adequate water is supplied, cultivation can be increased.
While most farmers don’t have electricity connections, they have to depend on diesel motors to pump water for irrigation. As onion is a water-intensive crop, and the area has few water bodies, farmers say the government should give them assistance to dig water holes. Although the soil in the region is conducive for onion cultivation, and those who have taken up cultivation of the crop have received good returns, most farmers prefer to cultivate paddy and vegetables.
The area under cultivation in Thazhuthali, Perumpakkam, Karasanur, Thenkulapakkam, Murukeri, Avanipur and Mailam is close to 4,500 acres and the entire region favours onion cultivation. However, the crop is grown on only 200 acres. Rajagopal (63) of Thenkulapakkam hamlet, who is cultivating onion on half acre of land, said, of the four acres that he owns, he cultivates onion on only a small portion. “Onions needs more water and can be cultivated in the summer season only. The crop gives good returns. We get nearly `1.65 lakh per acre in 5 months,” he said.
Giving details on the cost involved in onion cultivation, Chandran (36) of Mailam hamlet, said, “We spend almost Rs 35,000 per acre for fertilizers, man power and water supplies. Of this, a large sum is spent on buying diesel and for maintenance charges for diesel generators. If the government assists us with subsidised loans to dig water holes it would be very helpful for us.”
Ramkumar (28) of Avanipur village said, “Onion production can be increased and its price can be controlled if the government assists us with proper facilities for its cultivation. Onions can be exported as well, which will generate revenue for the country,” he added.