Kurigram farmers smile with sunflowers

The cultivation of sunflower on fallow land has opened up a new avenue of earning and employment for the locals and farmers.

Sunflower, one of the most important seed crops grown in temperate countries, is a major source of vegetable oil which is much healthier than pump and soybean oil as it does not have any cholesterol.

Locals said sunflower cultivation in the chars and river islands with the assistance of the Department of Agriculture Extension (DAE) will change the fate of the farmers and transform the locality.

Abu Bakr Siddique, a farmer from Sadar Hospital area, said he had previously cultivated banana, cauliflower, and cabbage. “It was very difficult to earn profit because of the high production cost,” he told UNB.

He cultivated sunflower this year taking into account the DAE’s suggestions. He planted sapling on November 20 last year and the plants started blooming within three months. It can be harvested within four months, he hoped.

He received 10kg sunflower seeds, 26kg urea, 20kg potassium, 22kg gypsum, 20kg Diammonium phosphate (DAP) from DAE. He has spent around Tk 1.2 lakh for taking care of the sunflower field.

Farmers Omar Faruk, Abed Ali and Jamal said they visited the sunflower field and were inspired to follow suit thanks to the prospect of bumper production and high profit.

Dr Mustafizur Rahman, deputy director of Kurigram DAE, said there are over 500 chars and islands in the district. They have cultivated some weather-tolerant crops on the fallow lands this year on an experimental basis.

“Farmers cultivated sunflower on 55 acres in the district this year. The vegetable oil can be used as an alternative to soybean oil. Besides, bird’s food can also be produced from sunflower,” the official said.

Source: United News of Bangladesh