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Pioneering the Future

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Crop Guide: Onion

Index:    Overview   |   Onion economy

Overview : About onions

 

Onion (Allium cepa L. , member of the Liliaceae family) is a herbaceous bulbous plant that is cultivated for bulb production either as biannual or perennial (depending on the cultivation conditions). It is probably originated in the mountainous regions of Central Asia. Onions are among the most widely adapted vegetable crops, and they can be grown in the tropics as well as in subarctic regions. World production is nearly 85 million tons of bulbs on some 4.4 million ha.

The onion crop thrives in mild climates, with no extreme temperatures and without excessive rainfall. The optimum mean daily temperature for growing onions varies between 15 and 20°C. Under normal conditions onion forms a bulb in the first season of growth and flowers in the second season. The production of the bulb is regulated by day length. The critical day length varies between 11 and 16 hours, depending on variety. For the initial growth period, cool weather and adequate water are advantageous for proper establishment, whereas during ripening, warm, dry weather promotes high yield of good quality.

 

Onions can be grown on many soils but medium textured soils are preferred. Optimum pH is in the range of 6 to 7. Fertilizer requirements are normally 60 to 100 kg/ha N, 25 to 45 kg/ha P and 45 to 80 kg/ha K.

 

 

Onion Filed

 

Onion economy

Onion growing areas

Country

ha

% from total

 

Country

ha

% from total

 

Country

ha

% from total

India

1,203,570

22.7%

Myanmar

77,200

1.5%

Mozambique

39,700

0.7%

China

1,034,841

19.5%

Egypt

68,487

1.3%

Uzbekistan

38,290

0.7%

Oman

491,400

9.3%

Sudan

60,000

1.1%

Romania

30,290

0.6%

Nigeria

487,000

9.2%

Brazil

59,190

1.1%

Netherlands

30,199

0.6%

Bangladesh

150,915

2.8%

Ukraine

58,800

1.1%

Morocco

29,349

0.6%

Pakistan

133,922

2.5%

Turkey

58,315

1.1%

South Africa

26,149

0.5%

Indonesia

120,704

2.3%

Iran

57,112

1.1%

Japan

25,300

0.5%

Viet Nam

94,051

1.8%

USA

56,600

1.1%

Spain

24,955

0.5%

Russian Federation

85,993

1.6%

Algeria

47,982

0.9%

Poland

24,727

0.5%

Uganda

77,716

1.5%

Mexico

47,431

0.9%

Rest of the world

559,870

10.6%

 

 

Onion trade (WTO 2014 data)

Exporters

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Importers

Region

tons

% share

Region

tons

% share

World - total

249579

100%

World - total

211371

100%

Pakistan

81565

33%

UAE

39763

19%

India

54306

22%

Germany

24164

11%

USA

32203

13%

UK

12400

6%

China

13119

5%

Poland

11285

5%

Egypt

12152

5%

Netherlands

9312

4%

Poland

8835

4%

Russia

6709

3%

 

Need more information about growing onions? You can always return to the onion fertilizer & onion crop guide table of contents