Khurda: With no facility to market their oilseeds, sunflower growers of Khurda district are being forced to opt for distress sale of their produce.
Sunflower farmers of Begunia, Bolgarh and Tangi blocks of Khurda have urged the state government to arrange marketing facility for their oilseeds.
“I have been cultivating sunflowers for last five years. This year also I have grown sunflower crops on an acre of land. But, lack of proper marketing facility is preventing me from getting good return,” said Bhagirathi Swain of Haja village in Begunia block.
According to Swain, over a hundred farmers of his village have also been growing sunflowers for last several years. “Sunflower farming needs a lot of care and attention. Farmers have to guard their crops for round-the-clock. Monkeys and elephants from the nearby forests often damage our crops,” said Jayadev Routray, Kailash Chandra Chhotray, Braja Kishore Bhol, Rashmi Ranjan Pattajoshi and many other farmers of Haja.
The farmers have claimed that the state government and the district administration are yet to arrange marketing facility for either sunflower seeds or oil. As a result, most of the sunflower growers are being forced to sell their produce to traders at low prices.
“Sunflower is considered as a cash crop. The Agriculture department is providing high yielding seeds to the farmers. But, lack of marking facility for sunflower seeds and oil is preventing the farmers from good returns. The state government should introduce Mandi system for the oilseed,” said Dhruba Charan Bahinipati, a social activist.
District Agriculture Officer Ganesh Das said they used to supply good quality seeds and fertilizer to sunflower growers. “We will take appropriate steps if there is any proposal from the farmers to arrange marketing facility for sunflower crops. We have recently raised the issue with the district administration,” Das added.