Onion is the major vegetable crop being cultivated during rabi season in Kopargaon, Rahata, Sangamner, Rahuri and Shrirampur tehsils of Ahmednagar district. Every year the onion growers have to face the problem of heavy thrips infestation on this crop. Due to severe infestation of this particular pest onion leaves become twisted and large number of white streaks appear on the leaves. This results in increasing the incidence of purple blotch disease on onion. Ultimately the yield of onion was being hampered and thereby the farmers have to face yield economic losses.
The problem of these onion grower was analyzed by the KVK in onion growing villages and discussion were held with onion growers in Madhi KdII and Dahigaon Bolka villages of Kopargaon block. The effective solution in the form of karanjin 2%EC was advised for management of thrips as well as to minimize the cost of plant protection. The farmers were asked to apply 400ml of karanjin extract per acre after 30 and 45 days of transplanting of the crop. This karanjin extract destroys the eggs and nymphs of this pest and thereby minimize its population. For popularizing this concept among the onion growers, the KVK undertook the frontline demonstration on use of karanjin 2%EC against onion thrips at 30 different locations in Madhi Kd and Dahigaon Bolka villages.
Two applications of karanjin extract @ 400ml per care were adopted by the farmers after 30 and 45 days of transplanting of the crop. This resulted in minimizing thrips infestation by almost 80% and twisting of leaves was also not observed in the demonstration plots. Similarly incidence of purple blotch disease was 30-35% less as compared to chemically treated plots. There were no white streaks on leaves and the colour of leaves was also green as compared to whitish green in control plots.
By observing the lowest thrips infestation, the onion growers got fully convinced and they found that almost 50% cost on plant protection was reduced. The neighboring onion growers also visited the demonstration plots.. For wide spread dissemination of the technology a field day was organized on the farmers field. Similarly the technology was popularized through mass media like radio talk and news paper articles. This has resulted in large scale adoption of karanjin extract not only in onion but also in other vegetables and fruit crops for controlling thrips.
By observing the effectiveness of karanjin extract, some of the vegetable and fruit growers in the district purchased it in bulk quantities from the service center of the KVK and started to use it against all the sucking pests like white flies, thrips, jassids, red mites etc. By considering the demand for karanjin extract by the farmers, the KVK has started to supply karanjin extract at a very reasonable rate to the farmers of the district. Thus the timely and quality supply of this input at reasonable rate has also resulted in increasing the adoption of this technology. The farmers are fully convinced about the results of karanjin extract against onion thrips and also gave the feedback that its application in other crops has also been proved effective.