Dharmapuri (Tamil Nadu), Aug.13 (ANI): Farmers in Tamil Nadu's Dharmapuri district have shifted to sunflower cultivation in the quest of earning more profits from the seasonal crop.
The farmers are making the best use of the central government's 'National Horticulture Mission' (NHM) scheme.
Under the NHM scheme, the government offers subsidies and other assistance to farmers to set up small nurseries and gardens, where they can grow fruits, vegetables, spices, flowers, aromatic plants and other crops in controlled environments.
K. Rajan, Joint Director of Horticulture Mission, Dharmapuri, said that as the sunflower was a short duration crop, so the farmers could yield quick profits by cultivating this flower.
"Sunflower is a very profitable crop, less water requiring crop and very short duration crop. Farmers can get quick profit by growing this variety," said Rajan.
He added that to encourage farmers towards cultivating sunflower, the government was providing subsidy and loan to them.
"The farmers of this district are advised to grow this crop. The government is also extending subsidy, by way of providing 2000 rupees," added Rajan.
Farmers are finding sunflower farming a good alternative, due to its wider adaptability, high yield potential, shorter duration and profitability.
The farmers said that the flower could be grown in a short period of 90 days and they are able to acquire appropriate amount for the yield in the market.
"Sunflowers are grown in one and half acres of land; it is a 90 day's crop. Because of lack of sufficient water, the crops were not growing well, so we are growing sunflowers. Per kilogram of flower is sold for Rs. 30 and in half acres, we could grow 750 kilogram of flower. Our aim is to sell about 25,000 to 30,000 thousands kilograms," said Mariyappan, a farmer.
The productivity of sunflower in Tamil Nadu is 1240 kilogram per hectare, which is higher than the national average of 615 kilogram per hectare.
The major market centres of the state are Vellakoil, Moolanur and Kodumudi and sunflower grown throughout Tamil Nadu is sold only in these three markets.
Sunflower is one of the major edible vegetable oils consumed throughout the globe. The oil is used for culinary purposes and in the manufacture of soaps and cosmetics. (ANI)