Govt supported sunflower farming makes farmers rich in Odisha’s Ganjam

Berhampur: Govt supported sunflower farming has made farmers in Odisha’s Ganjam district to reap lucrative returns. The farmers in this district are reportedly earning handsome returns from the government supported sunflower farming. Many farmers of Dharakote block in the district have grown sunflower in their gardens and are earning good.

After harvesting paddy crop once in a year the farm land of the farmers in Rugumu, Jharapari, Singipur and Sardhapur in Dharakote block was being left unused for the year. Some of the farmers were then harvesting cereals, peanuts etc. Yet, this second crop was not that much rewarding. Hence, after the paddy harvest, the farmers were moving out to other states to work as labourers to earn.

At this juncture the administration came up to their help and accordingly, the farmers were given training on sunflower farming.

Accordingly, some farmers wanted to go for the government supported sunflower cultivation. Some farmers received seeds free of cost from the Agriculture department and went for sunflower farming in Kasei, Patapur, Keshapur sasan and Kanabhaga areas. Accordingly, 66 farmers started the farming in this area.

When they took initiative and started farming others made fun of them. However, they proceeded in their venture without paying heed to others and today they have successfully harvested sunflowers in their fields.

Less amount of water is needed for sunflower farming. And this is a big factor of this cultivation for which many farmers are interested.

As of now, the seed collection process from the sunflower has begun here.

However, they depend on the local oil crushing units to get their product crushed to get the oil. As per the farmers, from one kg of seeds more than 60 litres of sunflower oil can be made through this farming.

The government is supporting the farmers. They are provided with manure and Rs 2550 per hectare towards labour cost. Besides, training is also being provided to yield using modern technology.

There was a time when the cost of 1 litre of any edible oil was in between Rs 150 to 200 per litre in this area. And that was also being imported from other states. Now, they are getting their own harvested pure oil.

Yet, difficulty is still there to crush the sunflowers. In some cases, they are needed to go far places for this.

The farmers have requested that if an oil crusher farm can be set up by the govt the farmers would reap the benefit.

Asked about this Agricultural Officer Biswanath Behera said that soon an oil crusher will be established with a cost of Rs 2.5 lakh. He has hoped that in the coming years more sunflower farming will be done in this area.

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