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