Lakki marwat – Local farmers have grown sunflowers over 15 acres in different parts of the district this year to earn profit within a limited time.
In February and March the farmers cultivated sunflowers in Serai Naurang, Ihsanpur, Saradarga, Bachkan Ahmadzai and other areas with the support of the agriculture department.
“The sunflower fields are in bloom with growth in full swing, brightening the chances of handsome earnings for growers”, said a farmers’ representative here yesterday.
He said that the farmers got hybrid sunflower seed from a model farm services centre at Rs 4500 and they would receive Rs 5000 as seed subsidy per acre from the government.
“The cultivation of sunflowers on a vast tract of land was the first experience and it proved successful with the hard work of farmers,” said another member of the farmers’ community.
He said that provision of subsidy to sunflower farmers was an encouraging step as it would help to motivate farmers to sow the oilseed crop.
He said that the sunflower growers were optimistic to meet their needs of edible items besides earning a huge profit from the crop.
The farmers’ representatives said that with active support of the agriculture department the sunflower growers would get a bumper crop this year.
The agriculture department district director Abdul Qayyum said that the cultivation of sunflower had been made in the district under the PSDP approved national oilseed enhancement project.
“The department is all set to achieve the target of cultivating sunflowers on over 600 acres in the coming months to increase per acre yield of oilseeds,” he maintained.
He said that along with provision of subsidy on hybrid sunflower seed the agriculture department was also providing technical support to the farmers.
“The agriculture experts spend the day in the field to give support and advice to sunflower growers”, he added.
Abdul Qayyum said that the cultivation of sunflowers was aimed to motivate local farmers to grow oilseed crops to earn profit. He said that the government was giving Rs5000 subsidy to growers to encourage production of sunflower.
He said that the increase in per acre yield and production area of sunflowers would help to reduce the imports of oilseeds and edible oil to the country.