A good number of farmers in Sylhet region have been expecting a good yield of Sunflower this year while cultivation area of the crop has also been on increase in the division amid their increasing interest in the crop for several years.
The scenario is changing due to good returns for the consecutive years, Department of Agricultural Extension (DAE) officials informed recently.
The officials also said in a bid to popularise the crop as a commercial venture, the DAE had provided free seeds of High Yielding variety Sunflower, fertiliser etc to a total of 4,100 poor and marginal farmers this season. It includes 3000 in Sylhet, 1000 in Habiganj and 100 in Sunamganj. They have already cultivated one bigha each with the seed and fertilisers.
The officials also informed that Sunflower had been cultivated on 2,350 hectares in the division. It includes 850 hectares in Sylhet district while it is 565 hectares in Moulvibazar district, 700 hectares in Habiganj and 235 hectares in Sunamganj.
A good number of demonstration plots for wooing the common farmers in the high yielding varieties of the crop were also set up by the DAE.
DAE's Additional Director, Sylhet divisional office Dilip Kuamr Adhikari said commercial farming of crops like Sunflower had been increasing for the last few years. Many farmers, however, in this region were not aware of the commercial value of the crop. We have a good scope to cultivate it as huge tracts of land remain fallow in greater Sylhet during the winter.
But the trend has been changing as the marketing facilities are clear by now. On the other hand, DAE's agricultural marketing officials help the farmers in any trouble over selling the crops like Sunflower, the official added.