NILPHAMARI: Farmers in Nilphamari district are becoming increasingly interested in sunflower farming, as the business is a profitable one.
Cultivation of Sunflower gets popularity in the northern region including Nilphamari district. Accordingly, many farmers in the district were widely cultivation of sunflower in this current Rabi season by avoided tobacco cultivation.A farmer named as Golam Rabbani of Kundapukur village under Nilphamari Sadar Upazila said, “My 17 bighas of land was used for cultivation of tobacco every Rabi season, though this tobacco cultivation is harmful for every normal life but this year I have cultivated sunflower on 17 bighas of land by avoided cultivation of tobacco.
Farmer Rabiul Islam, 42, son of late Aftab Uddin of Dubachori village of Laxmi Chap UP under Sadar upazila of the district said “I have cultivated sunflower on six bigha of land for the first time after being inspired by the local DAE official”.
“I got 1 kg of sunflower seeds and 10 kg of DAP and 10 kg of MOP fertilisers, like other farmers in our block, as special incentives for cultivation of sunflower,” he added.
Like Rabiul, farmers Tahidul Islam, Menaj Ali, Ibrahim Miah of different villages under sadar upazila of the district have cultivated sunflower for the first time on one bigha of land each after getting 1 kg of seeds, 10 kg of DAP and 10 kg of MOP fertilisers.
“Sunflower is widely cultivated in different countries of the world. Sunflower seeds contain 48 to 52 percent oil stay. Its oil contains 40-45 percent Linoleic acid and is very good for heart patients and does not contain harmful Erucic acid”, said Hakim Mostafizur Rahman Sabuj.
While contacted, Obaydur Rahman Mondol, Deputy Director (DD) of the Department of Agriculture Extension (DAE), Nilphamari told the correspondent, “Cultivation of Sunflower becoming popular in the district. Accordingly, the farmers of Domar, Dimla, Joldhaka, Kishoreganj, Saidpur and Sadar upazila have widely cultivated the sunflower. This year the target of farming sunflower on 259 hectares of land has been fixed to produce 550 tonnes of the oil seeds for six upazila of the district”.“The government has provided special incentive and post-flood agriculture rehabilitation assistance to the farmers of Rangpur region including Nilphamari district to inspire in sunflower cultivation. A total 1800 farmers received 1kg of sunflower seeds. Among them, 500 farmers received 1 kg of seeds with 10 kg of Di-ammonium Phosphate
(DAP) and Muriate of Potash (MoP) fertilisers each as special incentive for cultivation of sunflower on one bigha of land each”, he added.
However, the farmers cultivated sunflower only 30 bigha of land on last season in the district and they sold their produced sunflower seeds at Taka 60 per kg. The farmers have widely increases of sunflower cultivation in Nilphamari district in this year, after getting special agriculture incentive and assistance under the post-flood agriculture rehabilitation programme.