LUCKNOW: There is a new ray of hope for the vegetable farmers of water deficient Bundelkhand region of Uttar Pradesh as an agriculture scientist of Banda University of Agriculture and Technology (BUAT) has introduced a rapidly growing and high-yielding variety of onion.
This could also be counted as a step towards doubling the income of the farmers till 2022. The new variety is virtuous enough to help the farmers improve earnings as it has smaller gestation and a longer preservation period than any other regular variety of onion.
It may be recalled that the agriculture scientists of BUAT had developed a dark red variety of onion which had proved to be a boon for onion growers of Bundelkhand region. Associate Professor, BUAT, Dr RK Singh calls this new variety Line-883. "The crop of this variety gets ready in 83 days instead of 110-1120 days taken by regular onion varieties," said Dr Singh.
He added that the yield is almost 20 per cent higher than the regular onion crop with 300-350 quintal per hectare as against 250-280 for normal varieties. "We have tried to address the preservation issues as well. Usually, onion stays just for a month and gets sprouted at normal temperature but Line-833 can be preserved for over two and a half months without sprouting both at normal temperature and cold storage.
Dr Singh has been conducting his experiments with the seeds of Line-833 in Bundelkhand region for the last two years.
Before this, he had actually started his research on the new variety while being in Nasik National Horticulture Research and Development Foundation (NHRDF) a decade ago. Elaborating on its positives, Dr Singh explained that it took lesser time to grow as compared to the regular varieties. "This is ready within 80-85 days against traditional 100-110 days of onion crop. Moreover, its level of endurance and resistance to disease is much higher than other onion varieties," he said.
On his decision to introduce this variety to Bundelkhand onion growers, Dr Singh said was best-suited option for them as Bundelkhand was water deficient and the new variety grew to require a lesser amount of water while giving best results in Kharif season.
However, he added that its seeds were used by over 400 farmers of different regions and states, including Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Bihar, Jharkhand Chhattisgarh, Rajasthan and Karnataka, on trial basis with exemplary results. Moreover, 15 farmers of Banda district have used the seed of Line 833 and got very good output, said BUAT authorities endorsing the variety. Explaining the technical aspect involved,
Dr Singh claimed that in Bundelkhand region the sulphur content in the soil was higher than normal. "Sulphur increases the activity of soil. For Line-833 sulphur rich soil is best suited so it will give outstanding results and can be a boon for Bundelkhand framers," said Dr Singh.