Sunflower is a major oilseed crop. Although it is cultivated in Rabi, Kharif, Zaid all three crop seasons, for better yield it is advised to cultivate it in Zaid season after Rabi. Along with this, farmers are also getting good income by bee keeping. Sunflower oil is being sold in the market at a very good price.
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In the direction of making the country self-sufficient in the field of oilseeds, the focus is on the production of sunflowers. Farmers of most of the states plant sunflower crops, but Karnataka, Orissa, Haryana, Maharashtra and Bihar are getting 75 percent production of sunflower, while Karnataka’s name is on top in this list.
About 1.48 million hectares of area is being covered by sunflower cultivation in India, giving a yield of 0.6 metric tonnes per acre. The production of sunflowers in the country is also low because most of the area comes under rain-fed agriculture, where farmers depend on rain water for irrigation.
In such a situation, the risk increases in sunflower cultivation. Despite this, 5 states have maintained the area under sunflower production. Statistics of the Ministry of Agriculture show that farmers of Karnataka, Odisha, Haryana, Maharashtra and Bihar take a lot of interest in sunflower cultivation. These states are getting 75% of the total production.
The soil and climate of Karnataka have been considered most favourable for sunflower cultivation. This is the reason that the farmers here are producing 48.65 percent of the total sunflower production of the country.
Orissa is at number two in this list, from where 9.46 percent production is being received. In this list, Haryana is at number three with 7.90 percent production, Maharashtra at number four with 5.70 percent production and Bihar at number five with 5.40 percent production.
Sunflower crop gets ready after ripening in 90 to 100 days. Its seeds contain 40 to 50 percent oil, in which an acid called linoleic controls body fat. The trend of sunflower oil and products made from it is increasing among today’s fitness freak population, so apart from the top producing states, other states are also increasing its cultivation.
Experts say that while body fat increases with other oils, sunflower oil helps in controlling body fat. It takes care of the liver along with the heart. Regular intake of this can reduce the risk of fatal diseases like cancer and osteoporosis. It is suitable for skin and hair.
According to a report by Down to Earth, the area under sunflower cultivation has decreased significantly in the last three decades. According to statistics, India had covered 26.68 lakh hectares of area with sunflowers in 1992-93, which remained only 2.26 lakh hectares in 2020-21.
India was dependent on other countries for the supply of sunflower oil, but since the Russia-Ukraine war, the exercise to increase the area under sunflower in the country has intensified, as 16% of the total edible oils are being used in sunflower. Until recently, India was importing 70% sunflower oil from Ukraine and 20% from Russia.
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