Farmers have their own way of judging what production technology to adopt and what not to; this assumption comes after Got Kowiti Livelihood group decided to stretch their Red Creole bulb onion (Allium cepa) production to an acre after more than 2 consecutive demo trials in smaller scales.
On 30th October 2013, in the presence of the head of Kobama division Ministry of Agriculture, Mr. John Omotto, we were able to join the group in the new stretch as knowledge facilitators. The farmers here have remained optimistic even with the unstable rain patterns having experienced similar cases at the previous demo sites.
Statistics have indicated so far that bulb onions respond well to fertilizer application because rooting structure is shallow and limited to the depth of 5 cm. It is important to add organic matter too to improve soil moisture retention ability and soil structure. An equivalent of 56 Kg/Ha of Nitrogen should be applied as farmyard manure.
What one needs to put into consideration is that nitrogen and potassium is not recommended at flowering because flowers become unattractive to bees; that are so important during pollination.
When the onions experience a copper e\deficiency, they become thin, poorly colored and have a poor bulb storage life. This can be improved by application of 22 Kg/Ha of Cuso4. Manganese deficiency is also common in onions; it is seen as leaf chlorosis. This is often observed in alkaline soils thus adding an acid based fertilizer e.g. ammonium sulphate. It is recommended that one should maintain the soil PH at 6.0 – 6.5 through regular soil testing to prevent the incidence of manganese deficiency.
The current average price in major towns per the 15Kg net is KES 750, which means a kilo is able to fetch a farmer KES 50. With a harvest of 17,000 kilograms per hectare, the farmer will be able to raise a cool KES 850, 000 after the five months.
Remember that onion is one of the vegetables that can performer very well in a fertile soil with less use agrochemicals. Try this and be rich after 5 months.