Maharashtra's Onion belt reported a dip of 65 per cent from the standard sowing activity till the first week of January.
Low prices in the previous season and drought have taken their toll on the ongoing sowing of rabi Onion. Of the 2.55 lakh hectares of sowing reported normally, only 89,936.2 hectares of sowing has been reported.
Drought, especially in the Onion belt of Nashik and in Marathwada, is being seen as a major cause of the drop in Onion sowing. These areas had reported over 30 per cent deficiency in rain.
Officials from the agriculture department said the state will not be able to cross the standard 2.55 lakh hectares of sowing. Farmers start sowing the rabi Onion in December and finish by the end of January.
Of the three crops of Onion, namely kharif, late kharif and rabi, the rabi crop is conformable to storage and feeds the market till November. As much as 60 per cent of Maharashtra’s production is from the rabi season.