Big onion cultivation in Matale revived | Daily News


Big onion cultivation in Matale revived

The Agriculture Department has revived the big onion cultivation in Matale in the Yala season, Dambulla Assistant Agriculture Director’s Office said.

Matale produced a bumper harvest of big onion in 2015, over 40 per cent of the annual requirement of the country by cultivating big onions over 8,000 acres, a senior officer of the office said.

However, the previous regime neglected the cultivation and imported onions spending millions. Last year, only 400 acres were cultivated with big onions, he said. However, over 4,000 acres are cultivated in the Yala season.

About 2,500 farmers of the Galewela, Dambulla, Dewahuwa, Sigiriya and Naula Divisional Secretariat areas mainly grow big onions.

Providing onion seeds for them, however, is a major problem, the officer said. The farmers have stored about 4,000 kilos of onion seeds.

This stock has already been distributed among the farmers. Since that is inadequate, the Department has allowed the private sector to import the seeds for this season.

Meanwhile, a new variety of seeds called MIB-1 has been introduced by the Mahailluppallama Agriculture Crop Experiment Institution that produces a high yield, the officer said.

Over 32,000 MT of big onions is expected to be harvested in the Yala season. In three years, the country could produce its annual big onion requirement if the farmers were well supported by the relevant authorities, sources said.

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