In tropical countries like the Philippines, the traditional way of growing bulb onions is without irrigation.
But with the advent of low priced onion from nearby China, the traditional way of growing onions is no longer as competitive and profitable as it was.
Hence, the farmers has to adopt new methods on how to increase their produce but with less production cost in order to compete with the prevailing market price.
It is at this instance that they adopted the Israel drip irrigation technology in their agricultural endeavor. In using the technology in a garden plot area of two thousand square meters, it has accommodated four hundred grams of red bulb onion seeds.
During harvest time, it has yielded around one hundred eighty eight net bags of bulb onions where each bag weighs twenty seven kilograms but buying price by traders under consideration is only twenty five kilograms with two kilograms allowance for shrinkage.
Under the traditional methods, forty five net bags can only be produced in the four hundred grams of seeds but with drip irrigation it has yielded four times than the traditional way.
With this rate of production, the farmers could still make a profit even if the price in the market is low like the cheap onion from China. Though there are additional cost incurred in adopting the technology, it can easily be recovered with the increase yield.
Besides, the drip lines are reusable for several years. So the initial cost, can be depreciated a number of years. The produce is also noted to be of better quality because they are heavier and with firmer texture and therefore, they have a longer shelf life. One onion bulb weighs ninety seven grams against the bulb grown the traditional way which weighs only sixty five grams.
Growing onions the drip irrigation way is also very convenient to use, by opening the control valve for a few minutes a day and all the onion plants get their dose of moisture and nutrients for their proper growth and development.
A three point four (3.40) kilogram of fertilizers are applied to the drip line every other day or about a hundred for the entire crop season for a two thousand square meters garden plot.
The two thousand square meters area was divided into thirty six plots each measuring twenty five meters long (82 ft.), point eight meter wide (2.60 ft.) and point two meter high (0.67 ft.). Six rows of seedling distanced at point one meter apart (0.34 ft) were planted in each plot. Two drip lines are installed in each plot. The seedlings were planted after one month and three weeks since the seeds germination.
The drip lines were open fifteen minutes each day when the plants were still small until the drippers were opened up to thirty three minutes a day when the plants are fully grown.
The water comes from an elevated tank and the same is supplied by means of gravity. In addition to what has been mentioned, the importance of selecting quality seeds and improved propagation techniques have also contributed to the increase in harvests of the onion.