While most parts of India are witnessing sky-high onion prices due to crop damage, farmers in Maharashtra have leveraged technology in farming practices to limit onion crop damage, according to a recent survey accessed by Inc42.
Conducted by Pune-based Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR) and the Directorate Of Onion and Garlic Research (DOGR), the survey highlighted that farmers in major onion-growing areas of Pune, Ahmednagar and Nashik lose a huge part of their crop due to heavy rains during the kharif (winter) harvest, as well as in the rabi nursery or early planting.
Agritech is already playing a substantial role in increasing the yield of major crops in many parts of the country. Even in the case of onion farmers of Maharashtra, improvised farming practices have reportedly brought a positive change in the crop production. The survey highlighted that farmers who employed better technology in farming incurred much less damage as compared to earlier crop production.
DOGR, in its survey, further added that in some areas, a heavy infestation of crop diseases damaged late Kharif crop by up to 60%. Additionally, rabi onion nurseries suffered up to 50% damage, with heavy rainfall drastically shrinking the planting area.
Moreover, farmers in Purandar, Pune, who followed the ICAR-DOGR recommendation of raised-bed plantation along with drip irrigation in onion crop suffered only 20% to 30% damage, despite erratic rains in the region.