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ISHS Acta Horticulturae 1143: VII International Symposium on Edible Alliaceae

Breeding white onion varieties for processing under short day conditions of India

Authors:   V. Mahajan, A.J. Gupta
Keywords:   white onion, processing, germplasm, TSS
DOI:   10.17660/ActaHortic.2016.1143.42
India is second largest producer of onion in the world after China. The world trade of processed onion is more than 200,000 t. USA, China, India, and Egypt are the leaders in onion processing. India though started late in processing, is gaining momentum. About 60 big to medium processing plants were established and still more are coming up in Maharashtra, Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh and Rajasthan which are competing in world market. Some of the Women Self Help groups also started processing of onion at small scale. Indian export of processed onion has increased from 4124 to 59134 t over last ten years. India has got special advantage being located in tropics as onion produced in tropical countries has got high pungency and flavor, which adds to processed products also. Present day processing industry is suffering from non availability of high TSS white onion varieties, irregular year round supply, poor seed supply, high post harvest losses, etc. There is need for averting the situation. Coordinated efforts of scientific research, Processing and Agriculture Ministry, processing units, progressive entrepreneurs and farmers have taken up a momentum in India. Some of the short day white onion varieties were developed by various research organizations in the country but they do not offer TSS range more than 12%. Directorate of Onion and Garlic Research has started research programme since last thirteen years for the development of high TSS white onion variety from available germplasm. In the year 2000 about 7199 bulbs were examined for TSS range. Only 2.72% bulbs recorded TSS more than 14%. 109 bulbs offering TSS range from 15 to 23% were selfed and populations were developed. After rejecting poor performing populations, 10 populations having 16 to 19% TSS are advanced. It would be possible to develop short day high TSS open pollinated varieties within 2 to 3 years time suitable for rabi and late kharif seasons.

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