On-farm storage of onion for enhancing income of farmers
On-farm storage of onion after harvest with proper storage technology increases the profitability of onion growers. A farmer can earn 40% to 50% more by storing it for about five months using a ventilated structure measuring 10 X 12 X 10 feet rather than selling his produce just after harvest. Onion is commercially grown in some pockets of Hooghly district of West Bengal producing around 55,700 tonnes annually from 2,600 ha land. Farmers are compelled to sell their produce after harvest at low prices as proper storage facilities are not available with them which results lower income from the crop.
Realizing the problem in one of the major onion growing village ‘Beleswar’, KVK, Hooghly initiated a comprehensive programme. With aim to store onion bulbs, farmers are advised through training and demonstration to grow onion with application of Single Super Phosphate as basal fertilizer to provide sulphur to the crop. Spraying of sodium chloride @ 100g/litre and Maleic hydrazide @1g/litre at 15-20 days before harvest are recommended for better curing and reduction of sprouting at storage, respectively. They were advised to keep crops in sun after harvest for 3-4 days for curing. The cured bulbs are stored in a ventilated structure developed by National Horticultural Research and Development Foundation (NHRDF), Nashik and introduced by this KVK with slight modification.