Cheaper onions from across state borders bring tears to local farmers


The easy availability of onions from outside the state in the markets of Pernem taluka is one of the important reasons for the farmers abandoning the practice of cultivating local onions which are known as ‘Gaothi Kane’ over the years, says the Pernem assistant agricultural officer, Mr Joshi.
“In the Pernem taluka, on an average 20 hectares of land is under local onion cultivation and some of the villages where these local variety onions are cultivated include Morjim, Mandrem, Hasapur and Casarvarnem,” he said adding, “The ‘Gaothi Kane’ few years back were found almost in every kitchen of the villages, however nowadays these locally grown onions have almost disappeared from the kitchens as several farmers have stopped cultivation of these onions and the place of ‘Gaothi Kane’ has been taken by the onions which come from outside Goa. The farmers after removing the onions from the fields used to hang them on a bamboo in the kitchen room.”
The assistant agricultural officer also said, “These ‘Gaothi Kane’ have better taste than the onions brought for mother states, however the rate of the local variety of onions is almost three times the onions brought from outside as the production of local onion variety is low and so it is hardly used by anyone for daily consumption.”
“Another reason for reduction of the cultivation of the ‘Gaothi Kane’ is that it requires more hard work along with better manpower, which is difficult to get these days and the labourers have also turned costly,” the assistant agricultural officer added.
“A couple of years back, we used to grow the local variety of onions in our fields, however now we have stopped it as it requires more hard work and also better manpower and we have to water it daily and earlier all family members used to be at home, that is not the case today and so it was possible for the farmers to grow these onions earlier and getting labourers is costly and also difficult to get these days. The young generation should take interest in the agricultural activities and come forward and undertake farming only then will we able to sustain the cultivation of local variety of onions,” said a farmer from Pernem taluka.
He further added, “Another reason for stopping the cultivation of the local variety of onions is that now the onions which come from outside Goa are easily available and are also cheap.”  [NT]