Project report for Sunflower Cultivation

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Introduction

Sunflower is a major source of vegetable oil in the world. It is used for a variety of cooking purposes. Sunflower seed contains about 48 – 53 percent edible oil. The sunflower oil is considered premium compared to other vegetable oil as it is light yellow in colour, high level of linoleic acid and absence of linoleic acid, possesses good flavour and high smoke point. India is one of the largest producers of oilseed crop in the world. Oilseeds occupy an important position in the Indian agricultural economy. Six states with Karnataka in the lead are the major producers of sunflower in the country. Karnataka with a production of 3.04 lakh tonnes from an area of 7.94 lakh hectares followed by Andhra Pradesh, Maharashtra, Bihar, Orissa and Tamil Nadu are major sunflower producing states of India. In India, Sunflower cultivation occupies about 1.48 M Ha area with average yield 0.6 MT/acre. Sunflower production follows a systemic weather risk as about 80 per cent of the area is under rain-fed production. In terms of productivity, Bihar leads with 1402 kg/ha followed by Tamil Nadu with 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 900 kg/ha depending on the climatic conditions and irrigation, which are critical factors for high yields.

Market potential & Strategy

India produced 185 thousand metric tons of sunflower oilseeds in fiscal year 2021. The production volume of all oilseeds that year in the country stood at 38.49 million metric tons. Sunflower demand comes from the southern states of India. Domestic production of sunflower is limited and most of the demand is met by imports. Ukraine currently represents the largest exporter of sunflower to India. Some of the key drivers of the sunflower market in India include its large population, rising urbanization rates, increasing health consciousness, and it’s rising non-food applications. Sunflower consists of a mix of monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fatty acids and has a high smoking point. It is also considered perfect for Indian cuisines as it can hold onto its nutritional content at higher temperatures. Furthermore, sunflower is also associated with numerous health benefits. Additionally, sunflower is also extremely rich in Vitamin E and finds wide applications in the cosmetics industry. Sunflowers are used for manufacturing cooking oil, meal, and confectionary products. Oil and meal are processed from the same varieties. Oils with greater percentages of linoleic and monounsaturated fats are healthier. Therefore, sunflower seed oil is one of the healthiest vegetable oils available for cooking purposes.

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