CHITRADURGA: Due to heavy rainfall and moisture in the air, onion growers in the district are in a fix, as their crops have been hit by purple blotch and bulb rot disease, leading to massive losses. Farmers were expecting good returns from the crops, but are now not expecting to even cover their cultivation costs.

The non-availability of labour is also worrying farmers. Speaking to media, deputy director, horticulture department, G Savitha said damp conditions due to heavy rain has led to purple blotch and bulb rot disease, and that the department is asking farmers to use pesticides to control the spread.

“Until the crops receive ample sunshine, these diseases cannot be controlled. Water-logged areas are suffering a lot,” said Savitha. Crops in Chitraduga, Challakere and Hiriyur taluks are affected the most. About 16,500 hectares of cultivated land is for onion crops, and each hectare produces 125 -150 quintals of onion.

Somendra Kumar, who grows onions in Belaghatta village, said once such diseases attack crops, the bulb starts rotting, and this spreads fast across the crop. Kumar added that prices this year have fallen too – last year the going price was Rs 2,700-4,500 per quintal, which is now at Rs 500- Rs 1,000. “Farmers should consult horticultural experts and use suggested measures to prevent the spread of the diseases,” said officials from KVK Babbur.

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