Dambulla onion cultivation hit by fungus

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Half of the 1,050 hectares onion cultivation in Dambulla has been affected by a fungal disease that came with the recent inclement weather, an agricultural officer at the Dambulla Agricultural Services Headquarters said.

Meanwhile, S. Ratnapala, a resident of Galewela Pattiwela said they have been cultivating big onions since the 1980s, and this year they have grown big onions on about 15 acres.

“The crop should be harvested by the end of this month. However, due to the recent heavy rains, the cultivation was infected with a fungal disease. As a result, the onion leaves have begun to shrivel. These onions are now rotting. Due to the fungal disease, half the crops have been destroyed. Fungicides in the market have not been effective in controlling this disease,” he said.

He said if the fungal disease had not occurred, they could have harvested approximately 500, 000 kilograms of onions. “As a result, there will be an unprecedented loss from onion cultivation this year. So, I recommend the authorities to increase the import of onions and guarantee a price of at least Rs 250 per kilo of local onions,” he said.

BY Tilak Pallegedara – Galewela