Shri Manaram Chaudhary (72) has developed an early maturing and less water dependant variety of onion through selection, which has become famous across the northern states of Haryana, Delhi and Rajasthan because of its good taste.He has been practicing farming for the last fifty years and cultivating onion for the last thirty-two years. He lives in a joint family with his four brothers and his children. He has around ten hectares of land, taken care of by his sons, where wheat, bajra, guar and onion are cultivated. Manaram is also involved in dairy business and has some cattle too.
Sikar region has irrigation problems. Though he owns three wells, still there is always shortage of water for proper irrigation. Plagued by this problem, he always used to try to devise experiments in search of a variety that requires less water and can survive the drought conditions that are prevalent in the area.Manaram cultivated some local varieties of onion in his farm. He was very particular in selecting white coloured onions, as their number was less in the population. He tried these onions at his own home and found them to be delicious in taste, but they exhibited very less shelf life. He then preserved some bulbs by drying then and sowed them in the next season.He observed that the plants from the white bulb were early maturing and yielded well in comparison to the crop from red coloured onion even under water stress and low irrigation conditions.Keeping this in mind while harvesting, he preferred to keep the white coloured onion for seed to the red/pinkish ones. He stabilised the characters over a period of ten years (1983 to 1993) by performing repeated selection. Once he was satisfied with the yield stability of the variety and the drought resistant characteristic of the variety, he named the variety as Rashidpura onion.
The variety developed by Manaram is an early maturing, less water dependent and is superior in taste to other local varieties.This variety is early maturing (110-115 days) as compared to the normally cultivated varieties (125-135 days) and has higher yield (40,000 kg bulbs per hectare) than the commercially cultivated varieties (25,000-30,000 kg per hectare).The variety has attained wide popularity in the northern states of Rajasthan, Delhi, Punjab and Haryana for its taste. Deputy Director, Agriculture (Extension), Sikar and ARS, Durgapur, Jaipur have appreciated the variety developed by Manaram, specially recognising the taste.ploughed the field. The other farmers in the village had sown Gujarat?2 on the same day. His results were good and he realized that this variety was comparable to the popular Gujarat-2 variety. He, therefore, decided to increase the production of this variety. Since the kernel resembled a peacock in shape, he named it "Moralo".To validate his findings about the new variety, Thakarshibhai continuously experimented from 1992 to 2001. In 1993, after sowing of seeds, there were rains only for forty days, the yield per acre was 9 maunds (1 Maund=20 kgs) and when there were no rains then the yield of Moralo reduced to 7.5 maund/acre whereas that of other varieties fell to as low as 4-5 maunds. In 1994, when the rains were good, Moralo yielded 24 maunds. Thakarshibhai says that two acres yield 20 to 24 maunds of groundnut provided it is sown in June when rains are adequate.Some scientists from Junagadh Agricultural University guided him in his experimentation but they did not certify his seeds. He recalls that in 1994, when he showed them the seeds and they told him that it is resembled the variety named "Somnath". To convince them he showed them that ?Moralo? flowered and ripened earlier as compared to any other variety.Thakarshibhai is known in his village and nearby villages as the father of the ?Moralo? groundnut. Initially during 1995-1997, he started selling the seeds at Rs 200/- per 20 kilograms and thereafter-in 1998, seeing the positive response, he sold seeds at Rs 700/- per 20 kilograms. Presently he sells the seeds at Rs 800/- per 20 kilograms. The farmers, who want Moralo seeds, buy it directly from Thakkarshibhai. They use this variety because the yield is good even when the rainfall is deficient. Farmers from five districts Junagadh, Jamnagar, Rajkot, Kutch and Amerli now grow ?Moralo.According to the district development officer, Junagadh, the ?Moralo? variety is sweetest among all the 4000 odd government released/certified varieties. Thakarshibhai says that even the government authority in Andhra Pradesh has liked the ?Moralo? variety.The Society for Research Initiatives forSustainable Technologies and Institutions (SRISTI), an NGO, based in Ahmedabad, which has been supporting farmers in such endeavours, purchased 40 kilogram of seeds and dispatched it to ICAR, Delhi for validation. Thakarshibhai is hopeful that not only the government would certify his seeds but also he will be able to secure a protection on it. Buoyant with the success received by ?Moralo?, Thakarshibhai even at his age, is experimenting to increase the production of lemons and improving their quality.Our collaborator from Rajasthan, Mr Sundaram Verma has evaluated this variety against the National released varieties of Bhaba Atomic and Research Centre (BARC) and has found it to be superior in terms of disease resistance especially for Tikka disease. Moreover, the attachment of pods to the stem (pegging) is stronger thereby yield losses during harvesting are minimal. There are no ridges on the pods and thus soil does not cling to them. The uprooting is easier.
Innovator has been awarded in 4th National Grassroots Innovation Awards of National Innovation Foundation
- Highly adaptable to varying climatic conditions (can also be taken as winter crop )
- Higher yield (40,000 kg bulbs/ha) as compared to average yield (25,000-30,000 kg/ha) of commercially cultivated varieties
- Delicious taste as compared to commercially cultivated local varieties
- Early maturing (110-115 days) as compared to the normally cultivated varieties (125-135 days)
- The variety developed by the farmer requires less irrigation and can thrive well under drought conditions