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Sunflower farming gains popularity in Khulna

Sunflower farming gains popularity in Khulna

Sunflower farming has started gaining popularity as the nutritious oilseed brings good profit for the farmers in Batiaghata upazila of the district.Farmers in the district are getting inclined to cultivation of sunflower due to bumper output of the oilseed for the past several years as the soil and weather of the district are favorable for its production.DAE sources said a vast area of land is brought under sunflower farming in the district every year owing to satisfactory yield of the crop.Deputy Director of Department of Agriculture Extension (DAE) in Khulna Kazi Anisuzzaman said farmers can attain financial solvency within a short time through sunflower cultivation.The DAE and BRAC, a non-government organization, are jointly encouraging farmers to cultivate sunflower by giving up traditional crops.BRAC is providing technical and monetary support to the farmers for sunflower cultivation in several areas, said Mizanur Rahman, senior manager of BRAC Agriculture and Food Security Programme in Batiaghata upazila.A total of 1,070 acres of land has come under sunflower cultivation till the current session. The cultivation period starts in between November-December and harvesting period continues from March to early April.Some 380 farmers cultivated the oilseed on 270 acres of land under 20 blocks under BRAC in Batiaghata upazila, he added.“We also impart training and other logistic supports to the farmers and our farming areas also include Surkhali, Jalma, Gangarampur in Batighata upazila in the district, said Mizanur Rahman.While visiting Mohammadnagar village under the upazila, Basob Nandi, a sunflower farmer told BSS, he gets 30-35 maunds of sunflower seed from per acre land and each maund of seed from per acre land is being sold at Taka 1650-Taka 1700 in the market.It is possible to get 15-16 litres of oil from each maund of seed, the sunflower farmer added.Hamid Mia, a farmer of Jalma village of the upazila told BSS, last year he cultivated sunflower at his land and earned Tk 20,000 as net profit. He is expecting Tk 30,000 as profit this season. Another farmer Hafizur Rahman of Mohammadnagar village said he got bumper production this year and is expecting a good profit.DAE sources said planting sunflower has been a wonderful agricultural practice to utilise the fallow lands as it can tolerate high salinity and can grow well in saline rich lands. BSS, Khulna