FAISALABAD   -  Pakistan may decrease import bill of ed­ible oil by promotion oil-seed crops like sunflower, said Dr Ishtiaq Hussain, Ad­ditional Director General Agriculture (Farm and Training).

He said this while addressing a meeting held at the Ayub Agricultural Research In­stitute (AARI) to approve sunflower pro­duction project 2023 here on Monday. 

He said sunflower was an important edible oil producing crop which could not only play a pivotal role to cater do­mestic food requirements but it would also help growers to overcome their financial issues. “This crop takes 100 to 125 days only for its maturity with comparatively less cost and very high dividend”, he said, adding that farmers should cultivate it over maximum space of their lands whereas a number of teams of agriculture department had been acti­vated for training and guidance of sun­flower growers. 

He said field staff of agriculture de­partment was also helping and guiding farmers in purchase of sunflower seeds and its in-time cultivation. He said farm­ers should use seed of approved varieties for sunflower cultivation because these varieties had sufficient disease resis­tance for giving the maximum yield even during odd and harsh weather. 

The meeting after thorough discussion approved sunflower production project 2023. Deputy Director Pest Warning Fais­alabad Dr Amir Rasool, Deputy Director Research Information Unit Dr Asif Ali, Chairman Agronomy Department MNS Agriculture University Multan Prof Dr Ab­dul Ghaffar and others were also present.

APPLICATIONS SOUGHT FROM WHEAT GROWERS 

The Agriculture Department has in­vited applications from farmers for cul­tivating wheat crops on experimental plots under the National Programme of Enhancing per acre Production.

Director Agriculture Ch Abdul Hameed said here Monday that the last date for receiving applications has been fixed Oc­tober 5.

He said that farmers having 5 to 12.5 acres of irrigated land and 25 acres of ba­rani land would be eligible to submit ap­plications. He said that the government would provide expenses of Rs11,000 per acres of experimental plot and farmers would be selected through draws and they would cultivate the wheat crop ac­cording to the recommendations of the agriculture department.