The farmers of Chandpur district are showing keen interest to grow sunflower in their fields, the officials of the Department of Agricultural Extension (DAE) in the district have told the FE correspondent.
The officials said under the government’s Agriculture Rehabilitation programme, a total of 100 farmers, including 12 woman farmers, were selected and each one had given one kg of sunflower seeds in November last as free of cost.
The DAE selected the farmers, 40 of them in Chandpur Sadar and Haimchar, and 10 each of 6 other upazilas of the district, to cultivate sunflower in one bigha area of each of their crop fields on an experimental basis.
They were imparted proper training and guidelines by the DAE experts to cultivate Sunflower so that they get expected crops and can be benefitted economically within a short time.
”Sunflower has many merits for our health,” said Jamaluddin, Deputy Director of the Agriculture Extension Department.
Since 1975, sunflower has been being cultivated in Bangladesh. It is presently gaining popularity in the country. Now, the flower is also becoming popular in the district.
As there was no process of crushing and extracting oil from sunflower seeds in Chandpur, the farmers showed little interest to grow sunflower in the past years. The department was not also serious about it, said Naresh Chandra Das and Abdul Mannan Mia, agriculture officials of the district.
Last year, the farmers were inspired by the agriculture department to grow sunflower and so, the farmers were much inspired, they added.
Now the farmers- Nannu Haolader of Chandpur Sadar, Delwar Hussain Bhuiyan of Hatila, Hajiganj and Harun or Rashid of Rahimanagr, Kochua Upazila and a good number of farmers of Matlab Dakhshin, Matlab Uttar, Faridganj, Shahrasti and Haimchar Upazilas have realised that within a short time, sunflower can be grown and it is not so painstaking. It is also economically very viable.
The agriculture experts said, “Now sunflower is in the flowering stage. After one month from now, the sunflower will attain its maturity and seeds of oil may be collected”.
The farmers in Matlab Dakshin are optimistic about the bumper crops. It was specially stated by Matlab Dakhshin UNO Fahmida Huque and Upazila Agri Officer Dilruba Khanam when contacted.
The same information was gathered from the farmers of Kochua Upazila. Its Rahimanagar village's farmer Harunor Rashid also said that within a short time, the sunflower attains maturity. It is economically viable and profitable too. It is good for health too. The farmers of the neighbouring plots are also getting more interested to grow sunflower in future days.
Delwar Hussain Bhuiyan and his son Shihab of Hatila village in Hajiganj, Nannu Haolader of Char Krishnapur village in Chandpur Sadar, and Harunor Rashid of Kochua have told this correspondent that they are hopeful of getting a good harvest from sunflower. But with regret, they have alleged that the visitors disturb the sunflower fields by taking selfie at random entering the fields. Thus they cause damage to fields.
It may be pointed out that the sunflower fields easily attract pedestrians and visitors because of its ''charming yellow sight' which is different from green crops in the fields. So, there is a rush of visitors for taking selfie in and around the sunflower fields.
The farmers have called upon the government to arrange sunflower processing system in Chandpur as soon as possible so that farmers get more and more interested to grow sunflower and be economically benefitted.