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67 low-cost storage units sanctioned for ‘onion belt’

In a move aimed at helping onion growers get a better price for their produce, the Horticulture Department has sanctioned 67 low-cost onion storage units in Tiruchi district.

They will be established at the landholdings of onion growers in different parts of the district under the National Horticulture Mission (NHM) and the National Agricultural Development Programme (NADP).

Under the initiative, the scheme will be extended to onion growers who have raised onion in at least an hectare of land. It is estimated that it will cost Rs. 1.95 lakh for establishing a low-cost onion storage unit. Eligible farmers will be given 50% subsidy.

A shed opened at Marudhur near Lalgudi under the NHM is all set to store shallots raised on the field of A. Sebastian. The shed can store 250 tonnes of shallots. Provisions have been made to protect them from rain. The facility for free aeration enables the farmers to store onions for at least four months. The sufficient air flow protects the shallots from hot weather conditions too.

“We have so far followed the method of storing onion in our fields by covering them with thatches. We have now realised that it is unscientific. We hope that the low-cost onion storage units will serve the purpose of selling shallots when it is in high demand,” Mr. Sebastian says.

R. Krishnamoorthy, Deputy Director, Horticulture, Tiruchi district, said all 67 beneficiaries had been identified for 2017-18. Most of them had set up storage units. Most of the beneficiaries were from Thuraiyur, Uppiliapuram, Thathaiyargarpettai, Mannachanallur and Thottiam blocks, which were considered as onion belt in Tiruchi district.


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