NDDB, KOF, UAS-B, IIOR ink MoU for sunflower hybrid seed production in Karnataka

NDDB, KOF, UAS-B, IIOR ink MoU for sunflower hybrid seed production in Karnataka

National Dairy Development Board (NDDB) and Karnataka Cooperative Oilseeds Growers’ Federation (KOF) inked an MoU with University of Agricultural Sciences, Bangalore (UAS-Bangalore) and Indian Institute of Oilseeds Research, Hyderabad for large-scale sunflower hybrid seed production in Karnataka. This agreement is aimed at paving the way for licensing sunflower hybrid KBSH-41 for commercialisation.

Shobha Karandlaje, Minister of State for Agriculture & Farmers Welfare, Government of India; BC Patil, Minister for Agriculture, Govt of Karnataka; Annasaheb Shankar Jolle, MP (Lok Sabha) & Chairman, KOF; Meenesh Shah, Chairman, NDDB and Dr S Rajendra Prasad, Vice-Chancellor, UAS-Bangalore were present at the occasion.

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In her address, Shobha Karandlaje said that this momentous occasion was a right step towards atmanirbharta (self-reliance) in edible oil. She sought NDDB’s intervention in reducing the country’s reliance on imported edible oil and applauded NNDB’s intent to help the oilseed sector. The minister said that the availability of credible sources of hybrid seeds has become a big lacuna. She appreciated the joint efforts of NDDB and KOF to take up commercial production of successful sunflower hybrid seeds so that farmers get superior seeds.

Speaking at the occasion, Karnataka agriculture minister, BC Patil said that the increase in MSP by the Government of India had enthused farmers towards sunflower production in Karnataka. The compulsion to rapidly increase domestic edible oil production is an opportunity to improve the livelihoods of small and marginal farmers.

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Meenesh Shah, Chairman, NDDB said that in the 80s, NDDB was involved in setting up edible oil cooperatives under Operation Golden Flow. The dairy board is re-engaging itself. This is a small but critical first step towards supporting the Government’s initiative in attaining self-sufficiency, atmanirbharta in edible oils. NDDB and KOF would encourage farmers to take up sunflower as a preferred crop by making available high-quality seeds at reasonable prices. NDDB would work with KOF for the production of 5,000 quintals of hybrid sunflower seeds in Rabi 2022 – enough for sowing in about one lakh hectares. This would be further scaled up in Karnataka and also replicated in other states.

Annasaheb Shankar Jolle conveyed that NDDB had already initiated a number of measures to support KOF. He further said that considering the Ukraine crisis, there was a huge shortage of sunflower oil. This had led to higher prices of sunflower seeds. Our farmers could restart sunflower seed production to earn profits.

Dr S Rajendra Prasad, Vice-Chancellor, UAS-Bangalore said that NDDB and KOF had approached UAS-B for commercial production of sunflower hybrid seeds. Thus, the agreement would re-initiate large-scale sunflower hybrid seed production.

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