HomeAgricultureSunflower Crops in India – An Overview of Demand, Farming and Budget

Sunflower Crops in India – An Overview of Demand, Farming and Budget

Sunflower Crops in India

Sunflower is one of the main oilseed crops that grow in the Kharif season in India. It is an oilseed crop that can also be cultivated as a pure or mixed crop. In the plains, it is often sown along with Maize, Sorghum and Pigeon peas to enhance soil fertility and crop productivity. Additionally, sunflower has many benefits for farmers and consumers alike. It provides high-quality oil rich in unsaturated fatty acids and vitamin E. It also produces nutritious fodder for livestock and honey for beekeepers.

To get more sunflower production, improved varieties and modern agricultural practices are essential. Some recommended varieties are PSH 1962, PSH 569 and PSH 347. These varieties have not only high seed yield and oil content but also resistance to diseases and pests. Some important practices are timely sowing, optimum spacing, balanced fertilization, weed control, irrigation and pest management.

Overview of Sunflower Farming in India

Sunflower Farming in India

Sunflower farming has a long history in India. It was introduced in the 1960s as an alternative oilseed crop to meet the growing demand for edible oil. Sunflower is well suited for Indian agro-climatic conditions and can be grown in almost all parts of the country. Sunflower farming has many benefits for farmers. For instance, some are high yield potential, short duration, low input cost, adaptability to different soils and cropping systems, and resistance to drought and salinity.

On the other hand, the sunflower industry in India has main regions and players. They are mainly popular in the southern and western states. For example, some are Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, Maharashtra and Gujarat. These states account for more than 80% of the country’s total sunflower area and production. Furthermore, some of India’s leading sunflower seed companies are Nuziveedu Seeds Ltd., Kaveri Seeds Ltd., Mahyco Seeds Ltd., Rasi Seeds Ltd., and Ankur Seeds Ltd. They produce and market hybrid sunflower seeds. These seeds have higher yield and oil content than traditional varieties. In addition, some of the popular hybrid sunflower varieties are PSH 1962, PSH 569, PSH 347, KBSH 44, Morden Gold Plus and RSH 1.

Demand for Sunflower Oil

Sunflower Oil

Demand for sunflower oil in India and globally

Sunflower oil’s demand has increased over the years due to various factors. For instance, some are rising population, income and urbanization, changing food habits and preferences, growing awareness about health and nutrition, and expanding food processing and hospitality sectors. As a result, India imported 14.91 million tonnes of vegetable oils in 2020-21. Out of that, sunflower oil was 1.11 million tonnes. As a result, India is the second-largest importer of sunflower oil after the European Union. Similarly, the global consumption of sunflower oil was 18.5 million tonnes in 2020-21. It is projected to increase to 19.3 million tonnes in 2021-22.

Trends or changes in demand

The demand for sunflower oil will grow more due to various trends and changes in the market. For example, some of them are:

  • Increasing preference for healthy and natural oils: Sunflower is healthy and natural. It has no cholesterol and trans fats that can harm health. Sunflower oil has antioxidants, vitamin E and unsaturated fatty acids that can lower the risk of diseases. They are good for the heart, blood sugar and cancer prevention. Consumers care more about their health and wellness. They choose oils that can improve their well-being.
  • Rising demand for high-oleic sunflower oil: High-oleic sunflower oil is a type of sunflower oil that has more oleic acid than regular sunflower oil. Oleic acid, a monounsaturated fatty acid, is good for the heart and blood pressure. High-oleic sunflower oil has a longer shelf life and higher smoke point than regular sunflower oil. It is good for baking and frying. High-oleic sunflower oil is popular among consumers and food manufacturers. It is a versatile and premium product.
  • Growing demand for biofuel: Sunflower oil can be used for biodiesel production. Biodiesel is a biofuel that is an alternative to fossil fuels. Fossil fuels are not renewable or clean. Sunflower oil biodiesel can reduce greenhouse gas emissions, enhance engine performance and support rural development. The demand for biofuel is increasing because of environmental concerns, energy security issues and government policies.

Farming Techniques and Best Practices

Farming Techniques and Best Practices

Best practices for sunflower farming

Sunflower farming needs many things for successful cultivation. For instance, some are good land preparation, timely sowing, optimum spacing, balanced fertilization, weed control, irrigation and pest management. Sunflowers can be grown with other crops to enhance soil fertility and crop productivity. For example, some of them are pigeon peas, sorghum and maize. Sunflower seeds moderate rainfall for optimal growth. It is 300-750 mm per year. Sunflowers can grow in different soils, but fertile soils are best for them. They are suitable for wheat or maize. We should harvest Sunflowers at the right time to avoid losses. The heads should be brown, and the seeds should be hard. Also, use Tractor Implements for more efficient and better productivity!

Resources or support for sunflower farmers

Sunflower farmers can get help from different sources. Some of them are:

Research and extension services: The Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR) and its institutes do many things for sunflower. For instance, some are the Indian Institute of Oilseeds Research (IIOR) and the Directorate of Oilseeds Research (DOR). They do research and development on sunflower to improve its productivity and quality. Moreover, they provide quality seeds and planting materials to sunflower farmers. They also develop improved varieties and technologies that can enhance sunflower cultivation. Furthermore, they provide information and training to sunflower farmers to help them adopt best practices.

Seed companies and cooperatives: Sunflower farmers can also get help from seed companies and cooperatives that produce and market hybrid sunflower seeds. For example, some are Ankur Seeds Ltd., Rasi Seeds Ltd., Mahyco Seeds Ltd., Kaveri Seeds Ltd., and Nuziveedu Seeds Ltd. These companies offer high-yielding and disease-resistant hybrid sunflower seeds to farmers. Additionally, some of the cooperatives supporting sunflower farmers are the Indian Farmers Fertiliser Cooperative Limited (IFFCO), the National Cooperative Development Corporation (NCDC) and the National Agricultural Co-operative Marketing Federation of India Ltd. (NAFED). These cooperatives provide sunflower farmers inputs, credit, marketing, and processing facilities.

Budgeting for Sunflower Farming

Budgeting for Sunflower Farming

Costs associated with sunflower farming

Sunflower farming is a profitable business. Because, it needs less production costs. It offers good returns on investment. Many things are essential in sunflower farming. Some are land preparation, seed purchase, fertilizers, pesticides, irrigation, harvesting and transportation. Roys Farm gives the cost of sunflower farming per hectare in India. It is about Rs. 25,000. The market price of sunflower seeds is about Rs. 40 per kg. The average yield of sunflower is about 1 tonne per hectare. The net profit of sunflower farming per hectare is about Rs. 15,000.

Government support or subsidies available to farmers

Sunflower farmers can get help from the government. The government has many support or subsidies for them. They can increase their production and income with them. Government of India’s Agriculture and Farmers Welfare Ministry promotes sunflower. It wants to increase the area and production of sunflower. Some examples of government support or subsidies are:

National Food Security Mission (NFSM): This scheme helps farmers. Some are seed distribution, seed production, integrated nutrient management, pest management, farm mechanization and demonstrations.

PMFBY: This scheme helps farmers with crop insurance and risk coverage. It protects them from natural calamities, pests and diseases.

Rashtriya Krishi Vikas Yojana (RKVY): This scheme helps farmers process and value addition of sunflower products. Some examples are oil and meal.

NMOOP: This scheme helps farmers with micro-irrigation, intercropping, contingency planning and quality control.

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In conclusion, farmers can adopt sunflower easily as it requires less irrigation than other oilseed crops. As a result, it can thrive in rainfed areas where water is scarce. In addition, sunflower’s deep root system can access water from deeper soil layers. It also has a high transpiration efficiency that reduces water loss through evaporation. As a result, sunflower can produce good yield even under drought conditions.

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