Sunflower cultivation sees a gradual increase in the district as the nutritious oilseed brings goof profit to the farmers.
According to the Department of Agriculture Extension (DAE) in Pirojpur 199 hectares of land have been brought under sunflower cultivation this year while it was 116 hectares last year.
Of the lands under sunflower cultivation, 135 hectares is in Nazirpur upazila of the district.
Non-government organisation Brac is providing technical and monetary help to the farmers for sunflower cultivation in several areas.
“Brac has inspired the farmers of our area to cultivate sunflower for the first time. The lands that would remain useless after collecting aman paddy are being used for sunflower cultivation," said Nasir Uddin Khan, chairman of Kawlakhali union parisad under Pirojpur Sadar upazila.
“I have cultivated sunflower on one acre of land and Brac gave me Tk 5,500 as cultivation cost,” said Md Mohsin, a farmer of Koibartakhali village in Kawlakhali.
“With suggestion from Brac, I took to sunflower cultivation and got benefit,” said Mostofa, another farmer of the same village.
Several farmers said they are becoming interested to sunflower cultivation as oil extracted from it is beneficial to health.
Farmers expect to get Tk 2,000 from selling per maund of sunflower seeds this year.
"Under our 'Agriculture and Food Security' program, we help the farmers to cultivate paddy, sunflower, maize, fish and vegetables,” said Hafizur Rahman, district representative of Brac.
Hasan Warisul Kabir, upazila agriculture officer in Pirojpur Sadar, said they give technical support to the farmers whenever needed.