MANAGEMENT FACTORS AFFECTING KEEPING QUALITY OF SHALLOT IN SISAKET, NORTHEASTERN THAILAND

S. Ruaysoongnern
Sisaket Province is a principal shallot (Allium ascalonicum) production area of northeast Thailand. To overcome the general acid soil infertility of the northeast, cultivation on soil from termite mounds has traditionally been practiced. To expand production, farmers have used a combination of both indigenous and modern technologies to overcome acid soil infertility. Keeping quality of shallot bulbs, however, has gradually deteriorated since introduction of large-scale production systems around 20 years ago. Therefore, a study was conducted to identify the management factors affecting shallot keeping quality. The study included farmers' interviews, plant and soil sampling for laboratory analysis, tests for keeping quality, and farming system analysis.

The results indicate that nutritional status of shallot bulbs is a key determinant of keeping quality. High nitrogen in bulbs was closely associated with short keeping quality. Causes of high nitrogen content were related to fertilizer management. Farmers mainly used compound fertilizers to correct symptoms of nutritional problems and to improve shallot production. Moreover, poor field preparation was compensated by increased use of compound fertilizers to maintain high production levels. Therefore, nitrogenous fertilizer management appears to have a key role in determining shallot keeping quality. Low keeping quality was also associated with early forced harvest and poor postharvest handling. Farmers are also fully aware of the problem. However, the marketing system for shallot does not reward for high keeping quality, unless destined for seeding bulb production. Correction of the problems should be feasible with the availability of appropriate fertilizers, with correct fertilizer management, and differential pricing in markets which favour higher keeping quality shallot.

Ruaysoongnern, S. (1994). MANAGEMENT FACTORS AFFECTING KEEPING QUALITY OF SHALLOT IN SISAKET, NORTHEASTERN THAILAND. Acta Hortic. 358, 375-382
DOI: 10.17660/ActaHortic.1994.358.62
https://doi.org/10.17660/ActaHortic.1994.358.62

Acta Horticulturae