Although sunflower as oil seed crop was introduced in the country about forty years back but it could not expand due to some technological and market problems. Amongst the technological issues, the planting of crop was the main problem. Traditionally, farmers were sowing this crop by broadcasting the seed that was not so efficient method of crop sowing. Not only higher seed rate (3kg/acre) was required but also some post sowing problems like less seed germination ratio, difficulty in weeding, non-uniform flower maturity and less crop yield were coupled with this traditional sowing method.
Technology, Development, Demonstration and Recommendation
Farm Machinery Institute in collaboration with National Oilseed Development Project (NODP), Pakistan Agricultural Research Council developed a tractor PTO driven pneumatic row crop planter. The machine handles seed very gently using air suction through holes of a rotating disc. The hole numbers and size are according to the seed type and size. It is quite capable to plant a wide range of seeds like maize, sunflower and tomato at a uniform spacing. It has a provision to adjust number of seeds per hill, hill spacing, seed planting depth and fertilizer banding. It is locally available in four and six rows depending on the size of the tractor.
The pneumatic row crop planter is cost effective as it results in uniform stand established, convenient for weed eradiation
Zaidi, M. A., M. A. Tabassum, A. S. Khan, and A. Hassan, 1998. Development of Pneumatic Row Crop Planter in Pakistan. Journal of Agricultural Mechanization in Asia (AMA), Japan, 29(1): 13-16.