Nigerian farmers are set to benefit from the growing demand for sesame oil, according to a report published in The Nation. The Nigerian Export Promotion Council has identified sesame seed as a potential money spinner for the nation’s farmers, provided they can meet European and US health and safety standards.
The popular antioxidant, used in cosmetics and food, is a short duration crop with a low water requirement and therefore is perfect for new entrants, as it requires a low initial investment and delivers a high profit margin.
The largest importers of sesame seeds include the European Union, Saudi Arabia, UAE, Kuwait, India, China and the US and Canada. Exporters realised N43.7 million through sale of Nigerian-grown sesame seed in the fourth quarter of 2013, making it the fourth most important non-oil export for the country.
The National Sesame Seed Association of Nigeria is working with farmers to encourage new entrants to the industry as well as to support growers to ensure crops meet the required quality and consumer safety standards.