Sunflower (Helianthus annuus L.) is an important annual crop grown for edible oil. In Pakistan although it was introduced some 40 years ago, but in acreage and production remained fluctuating due to various production and socio-economic constraints. During 2001-02, the area under sunflower was 50, 000 ha. Since then the area is increasing every year and during 2005-06 it was planted on 350, 000 ha. Almost 100% sunflower hybrid seed is imported by the multinational companies which are very expensive and costs around Rs.500/kg. Therefore, PARC took the lead and developed the indigenous hybrids to provide hybrid seed at lower price with better adoptability to local environments. The following sunflower hybrids were developed by Oilseed scientists of NARC and got approved for commercial cultivation:
This hybrid, released in 1993, matures in 95-100 days and its yield potential is 3460
kg/ha. Its oil content is 44.7%, and is moderately resistant to charcoal rot disease.
This hybrid was released in 2003. It is a medium tall hybrid, with head diameter of 25 cm with a convex shape in drooping position which helps to avoid the bird damage. It matures in 100-110 days. Its yield potential is 4680 kg/ha and oil content is 45.8%. It is tolerant to insects and diseases.
Annonymous. (2003). PARC and Engro-Chemicals sign agreement for sunflower hybrid seed production. Frontier Post. October 5, 2003.