France is one of the Europe’s
leading sunflower producers.



  • Area (ha): 453,000 ha
  • Crops/species: Sunflower
  • Farmers: 30,000
  • Global Income: 360 millions €
  • Key stakeholders: Terres Innovia, heliaphen, INRAe, Maisadour
  • Good to know: The area under sunflower production in the South-West represents 2/3 of the national total.

Sunflower Production in France: A Booming Agricultural Sector

Nouvelle-Aquitaine is the leading region in France for sunflower production, with approximately 209,000 hectares dedicated to this crop, making up about 12.5% of the regional surface area for cereals and oil-protein crops. Sunflower production contributes 8% to the region’s value of these crops and is primarily processed within the region. Only 2% of the production is exported, mainly to the European Union. Cultivation is most concentrated in the northwest departments and Lot-et-Garonne and Dordogne, accounting for 64% and 24% of the regional sunflower area respectively.

On the other hand, the Occitanie region also stands out in sunflower cultivation, ranking second in France. This region is a key player in the production of large scale mechanized crops such as cereals, oilseeds (like sunflower), and protein crops. Apart from sunflower, Occitanie is also the leading region for soybean production and holds the second rank for durum wheat. The region’s position as a leader in organic large-scale crops, with nearly 1/4 of the national area dedicated to these, further underscores its significance. The port access to the Mediterranean provides an advantage for the export of cereals and oilcakes, making the region critical in supplying Spain, Maghreb, Italy, and Greece.