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Sunflower farming flourishing in Satkhira

Sunflower farming flourishing in Satkhira

Sunflower (scientific name Helianthus annuus) has turned out to be a strong medium for economic uplift of the farmers in the district as the oilseed’s cultivation has risen around 35 times here over the last three years.The reason behind the record increase in the crop’s cultivation here is that oil derived from its seeds has high demand for its excellent health value.Farmers in the district are getting inclined to cultivation of sunflower gradually due to bumper output of the oilseed for the last several years as the soil and weather of the district are favorable
for its production.A vast area of land in the district is brought under sunflower farming every year owing to satisfactory yield of the crop, said farmers’ sources.On the other hand, noticing their repeated successes in sunflower
cultivation some non-government organisations are encouraging the farmers further to continue it by providing them with supports, including seeds.Ruhul Kuddus, a farmer of Khaskhamar village in Debhata upazila, said
this year he cultivated High Sun-33 variety sunflower on two bighas of land.Last year, he received Tk14,000 profit from sunflower cultivation on one bigha land after recovering the production cost. Inspired by the profit, this year he cultivated the same on additional one bigha land, which cost him Tk14,000, including irrigation, pesticides and others.He expects Tk30-32 thousand profit if there is not any major natural disaster.Shah Alam, a farmer of Munshiganj village in Shyamnagar upazila, said this year, he brought one bigha of land under sunflower farming for
the first time.A local official of the non-government organisation, BRAC, advised him to do so as he could not cultivate any other crop on his land due to salinity.About Tk6,000 has been spent so far for this purpose; yet he expects to earn Tk8-9 thousand from the crop.Sources at the Department of Agricultural Extension (DAE), Satkhira
said in the fiscal 2012-13, a total of 15 bighas of land were brought under sunflower cultivation in the district while the oilseed was cultivated on 265 bighas of land in the fiscal 2013-14 and the figurein the current season stands at 520 bighas.Meanwhile, Mamun Abdullah, regional manager of BRAC Satkhira regional office, said a total of 300 hectares of land in seven upazilas of the district have been brought under sunflower cultivation this season. Besides, they also provided technical and financial support to the farmers in this regard.Abdul Gafur, deputy director of DAE, Satkhira said the soil and weather of the district are very much favourable for sunflower cultivation.Production of the crop has increased in the district amazingly in the last three years.Sunflower is a profitable crop for the farmers in the district as about 1.5 tonnes of oilseed is produced per hectare of land, he added. -UNB