By Zubairu Idris
Alhaji Abubakar Garba, Chief Executive Officer, Silvex International, a Kano based commodity trading firm, said that Nigeria has the potential of becoming a leading producer of sesame in the world.
Garba made the assertion at a monthly paper presentation, organised by the Bayero University Centre for Dryland Agriculture (CDA) on Sunday in Kano.
In a paper titled, “Effective Commodity Aggregation: Bridging the Gap in Nigeria Agricultural Value Chain,” Garba said the country was ranked third on the index of Sesame exporting countries in 2019, in spite some challenges.
He listed the challenges to include fragmented internal markets; poor linkages, unconnected trader/processor relations, unchecked middlemen, among others.
To address these challenges, Garba said a systematic out-grower, aggregation and commodity logistics need to be develop for sustainability and economic prosperity of the country though the agro-industrial sector.
“That is why the firm invested about N350 million in various outgrower schemes for rice and groundnut production in Jigawa State.
“Some 1,200 rice farmers and 275 groundnut growers benefited from the support in one-way or the other, to boost their production capacity.
“For the sesame, it is a trial run with only 50 farmers supported,” he said, adding that the gesture was to strengthen the support base of smallholder farmers to increase productivity.
In his remarks, the Director of the Centre, Prof. Jibrin Muhammad, reiterated commitment of the university to connect the industry players with the institution for the benefit of students and researchers, to enable them to grasp the real time information of the industry.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that Sesame otherwise called benne is a flowering plant in the genus Sesamum.
It is widely cultivated in tropical regions for its edible seeds.
Sesame has one of the highest oil contents of any seed with rich, nutty flavor, it is a common ingredient in cuisines across the world.
World production in 2018 was above six million tonnes with Sudan, Myanmar and India as the largest producers. (NAN)