In the Grasp of things:Collector Darez Ahmed inspecting onion crops in Perambalur.
The Horticulture Department has planned to increase productivity in ‘chinna vengayam' crop in the district through the introduction of seed onion technique under the ‘high tech productivity enhancement scheme' of the National Agriculture Development Programme.
The district accounts for about 9,000 hectares under onion but in terms of productivity, it is far less than the adjoining districts with lesser area.
The average per acre yield is just three tonnes while the Namakkal belt, on the other hand, accounts for higher yield. “The conventional cultivation practice in Perambalur district has been a major bottleneck for yield. Hence, we have introduced seed onion cultivation to step up productivity.”
Under the enhancement scheme, about 1,000 hectares have been identified with a plan to achieve 7 to 7.5 tonnes an acre.
“About 1,610 acres in Alathur block, 600 in Perambalur, 100 in Veppanthattai, and 70 in Veppur are being cultivated under the seed onion technique and we supply ‘Co 5' seeds to farmers,” said Darez Ahmed Collector, explaining the advantages of the scheme.
About 2,750 farmers were being covered with a special subsidy of Rs.1.25 crore in accordance with the directive by the Chief Minister, he said.
Soundararajan, deputy director of horticulture, said that the seed onion technique would strengthen the size and colour of the bulb, a basic criterion for attracting customers.
It would ensure attractive returns by virtue of its quality in size and taste. He said the farmers would be covered during the two seasons –‘Thai' pattam and ‘Chithrai' season. Although the crop is raised round the year, the technique is not much suited for other seasons, especially after the onset of monsoon.