New Delhi: The Ministry of Agriculture and Farmers Welfare, Government of India is focused on promoting the area and production of sunflower in the country. In this regard, the Union Minister for Agriculture and Farmers Welfare, Shri Narendra Singh Tomar held detailed discussions with the State Governments and concerned experts in a meeting. Shri Tomar said that under the guidance of Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi, the way pulses-oilseeds and National Oil Palm Mission have been started in the country, sunflower will also be promoted in a planned manner. After studying the suggestions of the states and experts, a detailed action plan will be prepared in this regard. He announced that a sub-committee consisting of all the major state governments and stakeholders like industry, seed unions etc. and the Agriculture Commissioner and other concerned officials would work out the roadmap. Urging the states to increase the production of sunflower, he also assured the support to the state governments for seeds, micro-irrigation assistance to industries etc.
Under the chairmanship of Union Agriculture Minister Shri Tomar, senior officials of Uttar Pradesh, Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh, Maharashtra, Haryana, Punjab, Tamil Nadu and other states participated in this high-level meeting held at Krishi Bhawan, New Delhi. Union Minister Shri Tomar also interacted with various important stakeholders of the oilseeds sector like the National Dairy Development Board, National Seeds Association of India, Federation of Seed Industry of India and private sector entrepreneurs etc. Union Ministers of State for Agriculture and Farmers Welfare Shri Kailash Chaudhary and Ms. Shobha Karandlaje and Agriculture Secretary Shri Sanjay Agarwal were also present in the meeting. Joint Secretary Smt. Shubha Thakur threw light on the area and production of sunflower. Sunflower is one of the important oilseed crops, which is grown mainly in Karnataka, Maharashtra, Andhra Pradesh, Punjab, Haryana. The scope of sunflower area is also in other states like Bihar, Uttar Pradesh, West Bengal, Odisha, Chhattisgarh etc.
In the meeting, showing interest in sunflower area expansion with the support of micro-irrigation U.P. Government said that the success model of mustard needs to be replicated for sunflower. Karnataka is set to continue the area expansion program in marginal lands, especially in the Rabi season, with assured irrigation facilities to enhance the income of farmers. The Government of Karnataka also advocated the cultivation of soybean with intercropping of major crops like tur, soybean, maize in the Western Ghats region of the state and showed interest in expanding sunflower area on the pattern of the Bajra programme. Andhra Pradesh has shown interest in sunflower cultivation through the expansion of TRFA land in the paddy area, especially where borewells are installed. At the same time, Punjab is ready for area expansion by diversion of paddy area. Haryana has planned to expand the area in potato fallow area of about 30000 acres. Important stakeholders of the oilseeds sector have requested separate mini-mission, seed availability, disease-pest control, market support and insurance support for sunflower.