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Store Kharif grown Sunflower up to November to get better prices – UAS Experts

Sunflower is one of the fastest growing oilseed crops in India. It occupies fourth place among oilseed crops in terms of acreage and production.  Sunflower is demanded not only for the consumption purpose but also in the manufacturing of paints, resins, soap, cosmetics and many other industrial products.  The sunflower crop has gained importance due to its short duration of maturity, containing of excellent quality of oil, photo-insensitivity and wide adaptability into different kinds of cropping pattern, high-energy hull and drought tolerance. The world sunflower seed production stood at 32.39 million tonnes from an area of 23.71 million hectares, accounting for 8.5 per cent of the total oilseeds production. Russia is the largest producer of sunflower in the world, followed by Ukraine, India, Argentina, China, Romania and France during 2010-11.

Karnataka with highest production of 3.04 lakh tonnes from an area of 7.94 lakh hectares is a major sunflower producing state followed by Andhra Pradesh, Maharashtra, Bihar, Orissa and Tamil Nadu. Sunflower production follows a systemic weather risk as about 80 per cent of the area is under rain-fed cultivation. In terms of productivity, Bihar leads with 1402 kg/ha followed by Tamil Nadu (1328.7 kg), although both the states have less than 25000 hectares under the crop which is mostly irrigated. The average productivity at all India level was recorded to be 900 kg/ha depending on the climatic conditions and irrigation, which are critical factors for high yields. This crop is considered valuable from economic as well as ornamental point of view.

The Domestic and Export Market Intelligence Cell (DEMIC) established in the Department of Agri-business Management, University of Agricultural Sciences, Dharwad, is involved in facilitating the farmers to take right decision regarding place and time of sale of the commodity by predicting the prices of sunflower for upcoming months, since, Kharif grown Sunflower is steadily entering into markets of north Karnataka.

            In order to arrive at the forecast prices of the crop, monthly modal prices of Sunflower were collected from Bagalkot, one of the leading Sunflower markets in north Karnataka, for the past 20 years and were analyzed by using rigorous time series analytical models and reliable forecast prices that would prevail in these markets during the months of September, October and November 2013 were established. The forecast prices were cross verified with the opinions of traders, agricultural scientists and progressive farmers which helped to fine tune the forecast prices. The prices from other major markets and the existing government policies with regard to the marketing of the crop were also considered to come up with accurate price forecasts.

            The price of sunflower in the month of August 2013 was Rs. 3400 per quintal.  According to price forecasts of the experts and opinions of traders and suggestions of the experienced persons,  per quintal price of Sunflower would be around Rs. 3300-3600/- in the month of September, Rs.3300-3500/- in the month of October and Rs. 3500-3800/- in the month of November in Bagalkot regulated market. So, farmers can store their produce up to November to fetch better prices. Well dried, cleaned, bold seeded grains fetch higher prices in the markets. Hence, farmers are advised to keep these things in mind while preparing the produce to the market.  

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Please note that this is the opinion of the author and is Not Certified by ICAR or any of its authorised agents.