SYLHET: Suitable land and buoyant yield, coupled with increasing demand, are encouraging more farmers in the region to start sunflower cultivation, reports UNB.
Bangladesh Agricultural Research Institute (BARI), which has been conducting trials with sunflower in Sylhet Division for three years, is assisting the farmers. Their success is inspiring many others to take up sunflower farming.Sunflower, one of the most important seed crops grown in temperate countries, is a major source of vegetable oil.
Its cultivation is cheap - requiring one-time fertiliser use and two-time irrigation. Winter is the suitable time for cultivating sunflower. It needs to be sown within November 15, BARI sources said.
The seeds can be collected within 90-110 days and each maund fetches Tk 2,400-3,000.
Faysal Ahmed, the first sunflower cultivator of Sylhet, said he has been trying sunflower farming in the Sadar Upazila’s Kumargaon for the last three years with the help of BARI. “I expect better yield this year,” he said, hinting at an improved situation.
Ansar Ahmed, a resident of Kamal Bazar in Dakkhin Surma upazila, first cultivated sunflower on a small piece of land two years ago to see if his plot was suitable for the crop.
He produced three kilograms of seeds and realised that the crop is profitable. This encouraged him to cultivate sunflower on his 37-decimal plot in November last year with BARI’s assistance.He will collect seeds at the end of March.
“My fields are now filled with sunflower. I plan to expand the cultivation,” he said. Many farmers in the locality have expressed interest in sunflower farming seeing him.
Attar Ali, another farmer from Hakaluki Haor area, said he took up sunflower cultivation with the help of BARI. “Many others are also coming forward,” he said.
BARI’s Sylhet office Senior Scientific Officer Dr Mahmudul Islam Nazrul said they conducted experiments in the region for three years before achieving success.
“We’re optimistic about the potential of commercial sunflower farming in Sylhet. Farmers will also be benefited by cultivating the oilseed,” he said.