Bangladeshi scientist discover `Chives` alternative to onion...

Dhaka, Sunday   29 November 2020

Bangladeshi scientist discover `Chives` alternative to onion

 Shamsul Haque Bhuyan, Gazipur

 Published: 08:33 PM, 15 November 2019   Updated: 08:34 PM, 15 November 2019

Photo: DailyBangladesh

Photo: DailyBangladesh

Onion price keeps soaring and it is now on the list of the most expensive products. Within one week, onion prices increase three times. It has a negative impact on people. In such a situation, agricultural scientists think of alternatives to onions.

Senior officials of the Bangladesh Agricultural Research Institute (BARI) have become success in cultivating a spice called 'Chives' as an alternative to the onion.

After long research on 'Chives', Dr. Md. Noor Alam Chowdhury becomes success in cultivating this. Chives are used as an alternative to onion in North China, Siberia and Mongolia for many years. Dr. Mostak Ahmed, Dr. Alauddin Khan, and Mohammad Moniruzzaman work as his assistant in this.

BARI scientists first released high-yielding Chives-1 in 2017. It has been thought of as an alternative to onion-garlic. Like many other countries in the world, chives are also on the list of spice crops popular in China.

BARI's senior scientific officer Md. Nur Alam Chowdhury said that chives are commonly used in soups, salads and Chinese dishes in many countries of the world. Its leaves are Lillian shaped flat, edges are smooth and its valves are long. Chives taste a lot like onion and garlic. Chives help digestion and control disease. It also has anti-cancer properties.

Nur Alam said Chives contains a large amount of vitamin C, vitamin B-1, B-2, niacin, carotene and mineral content. Chives are generally cultivated in the hilly areas of the country in Sylhet and Chattogram. Besides, onion producing areas of Pabna, Faridpur, Rajbari, Kushtia, Meherpur, Magura, Bogura and Lalmonirhat areas have great potential for cultivation of Chives. Once the chive tree is planted, the fruit is available for a long time. This crop can be cultivated in the courtyard or tub.

According to BBS-2017 data, at present about 17.35 metrict tons onion are produced across the country per year and the demand is 22 lakh metric tons. The rest of the onion has to be imported from abroad. If chives could be used as an alternative to onion import dependency will reduce. Besides, one of the characteristics of chives is that it can be cultivated all year round.

In the meantime, initiatives have been taken by government and private organizations to expand cultivation of BARI Chives-1. The height of this type of tree is up to 30-40cm and leaves are 35-30cm. About 10-12 tons Chives could product per hectare. Harvesting begins within 65-70 days from the time of planting. Harvesting can be done four to five times a year.

Bari spice crop specialist Gazipur Regional Spice Research Center (BARI) Chief Scientific Officer Shailendra Nath Majumdar said that chives is an ideal spice crop as an alternative to onion-garlic. Its quality is higher than onion-garlic. If extensively cultivated, it is possible to meet the shortage of onion-garlic in the country with chives.