Agri Business

Dipping mercury raises Nashik onion growers’ hopes

Rahul Wadke Mumbai | Updated on January 01, 2020 Published on January 01, 2020

At lower temperatures, onion plantleaves grow well which is good for the bulb

Nashik district in northern Maharashtra, which is the hub of onion cultivation in the country, has been shivering in sub-10 degrees night temperature the last one month. But such temperatures are ideal for the growth of onion crop.

An onion farmer from Shivade village in Sinnar taluk, Vishnu Harak, said the dip in temperature is most conductive for growth as higher temperature and cloudy weather trigger pest attacks. At lower temperatures, the green leaves of onion plants grow well, which is good for the health of the pink bulb, he said.

Harak said framers in the district completed planting onions in the last 45 days. Fresh harvest will arrive in the market by March, and is expected to bring down onion prices across the country.

However, onion farmer Raje Patil from Nipad taluk said that experience has showed that temperatures in January can dip to as low as 3 degrees Celsius in the district, which is not suitable for the crop. In January 2016, farmers lost a part of their crop to frost, he said.

Onion acreage

The State Revenue Department has estimated that farmers have planted about one lakh hectare of onion in the district.

Due to better supply of local onions in the market, along with imports from countries such as Egypt, onion prices have started dropping in the last 15 days.

On December 18, the modal price of onion had reached ₹7,100 a quintal ( 100 kg) at the Lasalgaon APMC market but by the New Year Day, it had fallen to ₹3,500. An onion trader from Lasalgaon APMC market, Nitin Jain, said the dip in temperature would help the crop, enhancing its quality. Due to better arrivals, wholesale prices have started dipping but it will take some more time to reflect at retail level.

Published on January 01, 2020
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