One of the important agricultural activity in Nigeria is Sesame seeds farming, and has helped in providing employment opportunities for farmers plus generating income and impacting to the country’s economy. According to data from the National Bureau of Statistics under the foreign trade statistics section, The produce leveled up Nigeria’s foreign exchange (contributed 49.1bn to the foreign exchange earnings). And Sesame seeds has been ranked as the “most traded agricultural products” in Nigeria and that is during the first quarter of 2020. Nigeria is currently the fourth-largest producer of sesame seeds in the world.
Sesame seeds are rich in nutrients which includes healthy fats, protein, fiber, vitamins, and minerals. And what makes it more unique is that it contains bioactive compounds (lignans and phytosterols) that promotes healthy life. Do you know that Sesame seeds farming in Nigeria has the capability to produce about 200-300 kg per hectare? And this is because it has a fast growing crop that can bring about good harvest with proper cultivation and this varies because of certain factors such as soil quality, climate, and farming practices.
What are the properties of Sesame seed farming? If you are thinking of a crop rotation strategy, sesame seeds are one of the best to improve soil health and control and reduce pest and disease pressure. It has a growing domestic market chain in Nigeria, which has successfully effect an increasing demand from consumers and the food industry. Sesame seed has a long shelf life, reducing the risk of post-harvest losses.
Some of the benefits include: Improving brain function and cognitive performance because it contains a rich source of Vitamin B6 and it also reduces the signs and prevents tooth decay. Sesame seeds are multipurpose- It has medicinal properties and can be used for pharmaceutical purposes. Sesame seeds can be processed into biofuels, which are in high demand. Sesame seed oil is used in the production of cosmetics- such as soaps and lotions. Sesame plants have deep tap roots that help to improve soil quality.
Sesame seeds are highly versatile and can be used in various culinary applications, a perfect thumbs-up for sauces, dressings, and marinades. The two types of sesame seeds commonly grown in Nigeria are white and brown sesame seeds.
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