GIS – 27 November 2015: The Agronomic performance of three promising onion varieties, namely Oro Pronto, MON 0538 and Koda for commercial production was the focus of a public lecture organised yesterday by the Food and Agricultural Research and Extension Institute (FAREI) at the Farmers Training School in Wooton.
After three years of evaluation, three promising varieties of hybrid yellow onion namely Oro Pronto, MON 0538 and KODA were identified for commercial production. Consequently, Oro Pronto is being recommended for fresh market whereas MON 0538 and Koda can be stored and made available during off-season when the country depends on imported onions.
In a bid to increase productivity and extend the production season, research on onion at FAREI has been geared towards the introduction and evaluation of new onion varieties whereby varieties with high yield, good storability and quality, tolerant to pests and diseases and having consumer preferred characteristics are screened and recommended for commercial cultivation.
During the last three years, 29 onion varieties were evaluated at Réduit and Richelieu Crop Research Stations. Throughout the evaluation process, a participatory approach was also adopted with varieties identified promising and evaluated under growers’ management practices in fields situated in different agro-climatic conditions.
Onion is one of the most important vegetable crops, with high economic value, commercially grown in Mauritius. The annual per capita consumption has been estimated at around 14 kg, while the monthly consumption of onions varies from 1200 to 1300 tonnes with an average annual demand of 16 000 tonnes.
A seasonal crop, onion is available only during the months of August to December and the local production is about 5 000 tonnes and satisfies about 30% of our requirements. Yearly, about 11 000 tonnes are imported for a value of some Rs 187 million.
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