Agriculture and Farming Technology Updates

Doubling farmer’s income is possible with advanced Arka Kalyan variety of Onion

Growing Arka Kalyan in one hectare area has earned an additional income of Rs. 80,000


The most important commercial vegetable grown in India is onion. It is consumed domestically as well as internationally. Bellary Red variety of onion is primarily grown in an area of 650 hectare (ha) in Tumakuru district of Karnataka state. The productivity of this variety is 130-140 quintals per hectare (q/ha) which is very low in comparison of the state and the national average i.e 180 q/ha and 160 q/ha respectively. The average income from onion cultivation is Rs. 85,000 to Rs. 1,00,000 per ha.

The reasons behind this low productivity are – cultivation under rainfed conditions, delayed monsoon and non-adoption of high yielding varieties in kharif season. The low productivity of the onion cultivation led to the purple blotch disease during kharif season. The shelf life of the bellary red onion is 60 days only, which Is not up to the desired level. The fruitful onion production depends on the selection of varieties that are adapted to different conditions imposed by specific environment.

Onion production: Arka Kalyan variety
Image Credit: ICAR

The Arka kalyan – A breed of onion with improved performance

The arka kalyan , an onion variety released by Indian Council of Agricultural Research’s Indian Institute of Horticulture Research (ICAR-IIHR) in the year 2004.  This variety of onion is most suitable for kharif season and also tolerant to purple blotch disease. ICAR-Krish Vigyan Kendra (KVK) under ICAR-IIHR has taken up many Front Line Demonstrations (FLD) in order to show the yield potential. The FLD on integrated crop management in onion with technological inputs was conducted for three years (2014-17), during kharif season in the field of Tumakuru district. The Arya kalyan variety showed progressive performance in case of quality parameters, bulb shape, shelf life, tolerant to disease and moisture stress.

Arka Kalyan variety
Image Credit: Ministry of Rural Development

Farmers are taking interest in seed production activity

The results of Arka Kalyan variety were outstanding. In comparison with the local bellary red onion, the Arka Kalyan variety of onion showed an increase of 42.84 percent yield and a reduction of 33 percent to disease and pest incidence. Due to these reasons, the 75 farmers adopted this variety in an area of 170 acre over a period of three years. Thus, by using Arka Kalyan variety, the total production in the district had gained an additional 38 percent in an area of 145 ha.The results came up good in seed production activity as well. There was production of 12 quintals from an area of 4 acre. The farmers also started taking interest in seed production activity. It became an income generation activity for the farmers.

Onion production
Onion production; Image Credit: ICAR-IIHR

Labour problem can be overcome by using IIHR onion seed drill

By growing Arka Kalyan in an area of one hectare, farmers get additional production of 76 quintals and earn additional income of Rs 80,000. With the spread of this technology, an additional production  of 45 quintals and an income of Re 40,000 (on an average) has been generated for 56 farmers in an area of 170 hectares. There could be a possibility of gain in onion production with 42 percent and additional income of Rs 76,000/ha/farmer, if the technology spreads to the total area of 650 hectares.

With proper planning and adopting advanced package of practices in which new technologies like high yields and disease resistant variety, marketability and shelf life is included , the farmers’ income can be doubled.The labour problem can be overcome by using mechanization in sowing seeds through IIHR onion seed drill. Arka Kalyan onions can be stored at room temperature, during the market glut. It can be stored for 4 to 5 months without any deterioration. Post harvest technology products like dehydrated slice, powder, paste would help them earn more price. This will ultimately contribute in doubling the farmer’s income.

Also Read: Natural farming reduced the cost and increased profit for this farmer of Andhra Pradesh

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