PERAMBALUR: There is more bad news for homemakers, at least for now. Several onion farmers are in distress as shallot (small onion) crops are affected by basal rot disease, which indicates that fresh supplies would take some more time to arrive in the market. Prices of Onion and Shallot crossed `110 in Tiruchy on Tuesday.
Over 1000 hectares of shallot crop in Perambalur, which is one of the hubs, are affected out of the total shallot cultivation area of 3,291 hectares, said sources. Several farmers are destroying the spoiled crop and starting afresh. Perambalur is a top producer of shallots for over a decade now and farmers in more than 150 villagers are into shallot cultivation.
Starting from August till December, the farmers cultivate two seasons of shallots back to back. This year, basal rot disease has been reported in several villages. The disease is caused because of cloudy, drizzling weather and fog. Officials said, such weather will induce soil-borne microorganisms that damage the crops. Once infested, crop cannot be saved but can be prevented.
P Kanagaraj, a farmer in Adaikkampatti, said, “This year, disease shattered our hopes. We have no option other than destroying the crop. I spent `1 lakh for an acre to plant small onions in two acres in Adaikkampatti. We should be harvesting but are destroying the crop now.” Officials are advising farmers about controlling spread of the disease.