Onion Farming Practices in Eastern Region of Ghana: Implications for Research
Keywords:onion cultivars, fusarium basal rot, onion thrips, insecticides, fungicides
A survey was carried out in the river Afram basin of the Eastern region of Ghana to investigate the farming practices of onion farmers and to identify potential research areas to improve onion production. Fifty six onion farmers selected randomly were interviewed. Ten of these farmers were purposively selected for key informantsâ€™ interviews, and their nurseries and farms monitored from sowing till harvest. All the respondents (100%) cultivated onion only in the rainy season when fungal diseases and onion thrips were prevalent. Majority (89%)of the respondents planted later than the recommended time; 94.6% cultivated only Malavi which is susceptible to insect pest and diseases and89.3 % did not practice crop rotation. All the respondents (100%) applied inadequate chemical fertilizer and irrigation water; provided inadequate weeding of farms and used chemical fungicides and insecticides indiscriminately; onion farms were harvested at the immature stage; harvested bulbs were exposed to the unfavourable environmental conditions. Onion bulb yield ranged from only 3.0 -7.4 t ha-1. These findings may suggest that seasonality in planting; late planting; minimum improved technology use; poor nursery and farm management practices, diseases and insect pests; poor harvesting and post harvesting practices contribute to poor onion yields and are limitations to commercial onion farming.
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