Qamar Abbas Jaffri
ATTOCK : The growers of Attock, Rawalpindi, Gujrat , Chakwal districts and other parts of the Punjab have been advised by the technical experts of the Agriculture Department to cultivate sunflower crops from February 1 to 25th of February starting its cultivation from January and complete it by mid of February to get a bumper yield. A spokesman for the agriculture department said on Tuesday that Pakistan spent Rs350 billion in import of edible oil per annum. “If oil-seed crops are promoted in the country, we can save the import budget but also could earn maximum foreign exchange”, he added.
He said sunflower was a precious oil-seed crop which could not only cater to domestic food requirements but would also play an active role in trimming down import bill of edible oil. Therefore, farmers should cultivate sunflower crops over maximum space of their lands and its production would also play a pivotal role in mitigating financial sufferings of growers due to its high market value, he added.
He said time from January 1 to February 28 was most suitable for Baharia cultivation of sunflower, therefore, growers should start sunflower cultivation from the advent of January and complete it by end of February as late sowing could not only damage quality of the grain but it also hampered production. He said growers of Bahawalpur, Rahim Yar Khan, Khanewal, Multan, Vehari and Bahawal Nagar districts should start sunflower cultivation from January 1 and complete it by January 31 whereas most suitable time for sunflower cultivation in Muzaffar Garh, Dera Ghazi Khan, Layyah, Lodhran, Rajan Pur and Bhakkar was from 10th of January to 10th of February.
Similarly, farmers of Faisalabad, Jhang, Mianwali, Sargodha, Khushab, Sahiwal and Okara should cultivate sunflower crops from January 15 to February 15 while suitable time for sunflower cultivation in Sialkot, Gujranwala, Lahore, Mandi Baha-ud-Din, Kasur, Sheikhupura, Nankana Sahib and Narowal was from February 1 to February 28. The growers of Attock, Rawalpindi, Gujrat and Chakwal district should cultivate sunflower crops from February 1 to 25th of February, he said.
The spokesman said growers should cultivate approved sunflower varieties like Hi-sun-33, Hi-sun-39, Agora-4, NK-278, FH-331, DK-4040, G-101 and 64-A-93 because these varieties are not only disease resistant but also give bumper yield, he added.