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West Central Africa 2020 | English Version

Onion Onion (Alium cepa)

Onion Onion (Alium cepa) is a widely grown and consumed vegetable. It is mainly grown for its bulb and used almost daily in households across the world. It can be a biennial herb but is commonly grown as an annual herb in Africa. The bulbs are made up of a short stem, a base plate and a leaf basis. The thickened leaf basis forms the pseudo-stem that after thickening will form a bulb. Onions can be cultivated until about 3000 m above sea level requiring a well-distributed rainfall (or irrigation) between 500 mm and 700 mm during growth and a dry period for best yields. They require well aerated, non-acidic, fertile and well-drained soil with a pH range of 6.0-6.8. The day length (light) is very important for bulb formation; higher intensity and high night temperatures enhance bulb formation. A high application of nitrogen at bulb formation stage will put the plant back into a vegetative growth and inhibit bulb formation. Enza Zaden has a wide range of onion varieties, ranging from long, intermediate and short day varieties depending on the distance the region lies from the equator, north/south and the altitude. Enza Zaden is known throughout the world as a market leader in short day varieties (ready for harvest in 80 days after transplanting). The quality and shelf-life of these varieties are key points in the onion breeding activities. Red onion Red Coach • A short day fast growing onion variety, maturing 85-90 days from transplant. • Red Coach has proven to be a very flexible variety across the African and Asian continent. • Able to grow large flat round bulbs with potential yield up to 50 tons per acre. • This variety is recognized for its attractive deep red colour and pungency. • Very dense bulb, meaning more kilos per filled bag. • Strong root system making the crop stress tolerant and stronger against pink root rot. • Strong against bolting and foliar diseases, which gives the crop an extra boost. • This variety can be grown in various systems, altitudes and soil types. • The closed neck and firm bulbs give this variety a better storability than its opponents. • It can be used in both dry and wet season provided its transplanted on beds for wet season cultivation. Malbec • Another short day red onion and very fast in maturity, already 80-90 days from transplant. • This variety is the summit in quality, since it provides very uniform globe shaped medium sized bulbs. • Malbec is rock hard and, like any other Enza Zaden variety, has a closed neck which translates into storage up to 6 months. • Malbec will not disappoint you when you look after it. It prefers drip irrigation on raised beds but can also be grown in different systems. • This variety has very strong tolerance to leaf diseases and can easily give you 25-30 tons per acre. • The quality has been recognized in many countries which made Malbec to a benchmark in other countries like USA, Spain, Costa Rica, Jordan, Saudi and even Central Asia. • It can be used in the same planting season as the violet de Galmi. Variety Cultivation Bulb Storage (months) Size (mm) Shape Red Red Coach Short day 70-110 2-4 Malbec Short day 60-90 2-4 Gamay Short day 60-90 2-4 Remarks = globe = flattened globe = flattened globe to grano = flattened globe to flat Red Coach Malbec Early hybrid red onion with strong roots. Very good red colour internal and external even before it drops. High yield potential between 45-50 tons/ha. Variety with large bulb with a nice red internal colour. Resistant to purple blotch and Downey Mildew diseases. Suitable for both processing and the fresh market. Potential yield of 25-30 tons/ha. Late short day red onion with globed shaped bulbs. Exceptional deep red internal colour which develops quickly after harvest. It has a good field tolerance to herbicides and Downy Mildew. 4 | Enza Zaden Enza Zaden | 5

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