Onion growers in Kalahandi district apprehend a 30 to 40 per cent loss in production due to adverse weather conditions.
Onion is grown in western Odisha districts like Kalahandi, Nuapada, Titilagrh region of Bolangir and Boud districts are major onion producing districts of Odisha.
In Kalahandi district onion is mostly grown in Bhawanipatna, Narla, Kesinga, Golamunda, Koksara and Dharamgarh blocks.
During current season it was grown in 1000 hectares with expectation of yield of about 15000 tons as per assessment of horticulture department.
However due to sudden rise of temperature there is ‘bolting’ in onion in many areas and hail storms in some pockets in Bhawanipatna and Kesinga blocks has damaged the standing crop.
Onion growers Nanda Sabar of Paria village of Bhawanipatna block and Iswar Saha of Narla in Narla block said there may be about 30 to 40 per cent loss of production due to the bolting (eruption of sandha).
Farmers of different blocks presented a memorandum to the office of Deputy Director Horticulture seeking relief and measures to overcome the crisis.
The Deputy Director Horticulture Sudhakar Sahu admitted that due to bolting of Onion caused by sudden rise of temperature and hail storm in some pockets has had an adverse effect on the prospects of onion production in the district.
To combat bolting in Onion crop, earlier ‘Maleic Hydrazide” drug was used. But now the drug has been banned.
Farmers have been advised to pluck the bolts manually which is of course strenuous. Sahu said steps are being taken to initiate cultivation of Onion during the monsoon as well. During the last monsoon season 25 hectors were taken up in Bhawanipatna and Kesinga blocks on a trial basis, he said adding that this will be extended to 100 hectares.
He informed that farmers are being encouraged to construct 20 quintal capacity small storage houses in large numbers.
Each of these small storage houses costing Rs 16000 for which 50 per cent funds are provided by the government. Besides this it is targeted to set up 304 numbers of 25 ton capacity large storage houses in the district.