ORGANIC CULTIVATION OF ONION: AN OFF FARM DEMONSTRATION
Central Institute of Horticulture, Medziphema. conducted an off farm demonstration from January to May months on cultivation of onion variety “Nasik Red” at Punglwa ‘B’ village, under Peren district of Nagaland with a objective to promote cultivation of onion in the State which is considered as non-traditional area for onion.
Onion (Allium cepa L.) is one of the important commercial crop grown in India for both domestic consumption and export. Onion is a seasonal crop and grown in Kharif( June to October), late kharif (July to November ) and Rabi (November to March).The yield of the crop depends upon various factors such as variety, irrigation, soil and climate. Generally irrigated crops in rabi season gives an approximate yield 25 to 30 t/ha and under rain fed condition it yield only 0.7 to 0.5 t/ha.
The institute provided the onion seeds (var. Red) to women SHGs of Punglwa ‘B’ village and also demonstrated proper hands on training to the farmers during land preparation, sowing and transplanting of onion seedlings. Owing to low and fragmented land holding, the demonstration was conducted in 4 different plots covering a total area of 0.3 acre.
As per the objective of the programme, only organic inputs like FYM and bio formulations (Jeevamrutham) were used. The bio formulation was prepared by the farmers under the proper guidance of technical staffs. It was used in order to mitigate the predominant pest and disease like cut worms and purple blotch disease and also to boost soil fertility.
Harvesting was done 16 weeks after transplanting of onion seedlings. The farmers received a total yield of 5 quintal, which was sold in the local market at the rate of Rs.35/Kg.
The demonstration was identified as successful as the yield was satisfactory. The institute has decided to go for further trials on demonstration of organic onion cultivation in future so as to popularize and encourage the farmers to cultivate this highly remunerative crop.