RAJSHAHI: Prospects of sunflower farming are very bright in Rajshahi region including its vast Barind tract as its soil texture and climatic condition suitable for the cash crop farming.
Sunflower is one of the less-water consuming crops so the farmers are seen very much interested towards its farming in the dried Barind area, reports BSS.Meanwhile, eye-blowing growth of sunflowers has delighted farmers because present farming conditions have generated a prediction of bumper production of the cash crop in the region during the current season.
The farmers are seen adjudging the present farming as flying start as most of them cultivated sunflower commercially for the first time in the region after getting seed as incentive from the government.
Muhammad Rentu, a farmer of Malsadanga village under Godagari Upazila, has cultivated the crop on three bigha of land and he is very much hopeful about a good output. He is expecting five to six mounds yield of sunflower seed from per bigha of land.
Rentu told the agency that many of his co-villagers also cultivated the crop for the first time with hope of getting extra benefit. They will start harvesting the crop within the next couple of weeks, he added.
Sunflower seed is sold at Taka 700 to 800 per kilogram in local markets at present.
Atanu Sarker, Sub Assistant Agriculture Officer, said around 50 bigha of lands have been brought under sunflower farming only in Dewpara Union under Godagari Upazila during the current season.More lands are expected to be brought under the cash crop farming in next seasons if the farmers were benefited from the farming, he added.
He mentioned that many of the lands remained fallow after harvesting of transplanted aman paddy due to water scarcity every season. Amazingly, the farmers availed the scopes of recouping the losses through sunflower farming on the fallow lands.
Talking to the agency Sirajul Islam, Additional Director of the Department of Agriculture Extension (DAE), said farmers have cultivated sunflower on 1,107 hectares of land in all eight districts under Rajshahi division during the current season.
Each of 9,000 farmers was given one kilogram of high yielding seeds as incentive for cultivation of the crop on one bigha of land each in the division.
Anisar Rahman, a farmer of Madandanga village of Kalikapur union cultivated sunflower last year and got a bumper yield. Farmers of the area hope they will get a bumper yield if the weather remains in favour of them.
“Sunflower cultivation is not new in our country. We have provided free seeds and fertilizers to motivate the farmers. They are hoping to get a good harvest this year,” said Dijendranath, Deputy Agriculture Officer of Atrai Upazila.
Sunflower cultivation has got momentum in the area as farmers are expecting a good profit from the cultivation this season. The sunflower fields are similar to a large yellow veil on the ground.
Thousands of sunflowers offer a charming environment to the people as well as the environment. Locals and tourists often visit the fields of the sunflower to enjoy the stunning scenario. Many people were seen passing busy time taking photos and videos on the ground.
More than 300 bighas of farmland are being used for sunflower cultivation in Atrai Upazila. A vast amount of char lands and abandoned lands on the bank of Jamuna River are also being used for cultivating sunflowers.
The farmers of the area have expressed their satisfaction and hoped to get a good result from sunflower farming. Many people have been working as day labourers on the fields. It creates employment for them.
Several pieces of land were full of yellow colour as there was a very good yield of sunflower this year. The farmers want to change their fate from this as there is a huge demand of sunflower seeds and oil in the markets.