Sesame Oilseed Crop: A Golden Crop For Growers

“Life is like a sesame seed. It may seem small, but it has the potential to add flavor to your journey.” Anonymous

Sesame Oilseed Crop: A Golden Crop For Growers

Sesame (B.N.: Sesamum indicum) is an important oilseed crop grown worldwide. It has been cultivated since the pre-historic era, dating back to almost 7000 years ago, and its seeds contain more than 50% oil and 22% Protein.

The oil properties of sesame are similar to those of olives in many ways. Basically, it originated in Asia or East Africa and, from there, broadened across the Globe.

In Pakistan, the majority of the sesame, an oilseed crop, is exported to China after local consumption. Sesame is a multipurpose crop, with its oil used in multiple industries like food, soap, cosmetics, paper, confectionaries, etc.

We can enhance the quality of certain vegetable oils by simply mixing them with 10 to 15%  sesame oil. It holds a prominent status in the agricultural industry due to its rich history, nutritional value, and economic value. In this article, we’ll discuss why Sesame is termed a golden crop for its growers.

Sesame is a remarkably versatile crop that can thrive in a wide range of environments, including warm climates, with minimal water requirements and less availability of nutrients.

It is well adapted to different soil types, including sandy and nutrient-poor soils, which prioritise it among farmers. Sesame cultivation offers substantial economic opportunities for small-scale farmers, especially in developing countries like Pakistan.

Due to its lower input requirements and short duration (almost 100–110 days) of crop, sesame provides an attractive income to its growers. For example, in Pakistan, the total expenditure on raising and harvesting an acre of sesame takes almost 30000–35000 rupees. The expenditures include costs for buying seed, soil preparation, irrigation, fertilisation, pesticides, and harvesting.

Another advantage of growing sesame is that the crop is less affected by diseases and insect pest populations, which will ultimately reduce the cost of production. Returns on an average of 8–10 monds of sesame seed produced per acre, sold at the higher market price of 22500–23000 Rs/mond, provide an attractive return to the grower. Due to this reason, the sesame cultivation area is expanding with each passing year in Pakistan.

Beyond its agro-economical benefits, sesame possesses impressive nutritional qualities, with its tiny seed packed with essential nutrients such as proteins, fatty acids, dietary fibres, vitamins, and minerals.

The seeds are rich in calcium, magnesium, iron, and zinc that contribute to heart health, strengthening of bones, digestion, anti-diabetic properties, anti-microbial properties, etc. Another reason for sesame seed popularity is their use in culinary traditions worldwide. They are used in various forms, including whole seed, oil, and ground flour.

Sesame oil, with its unique nutty flavour and high smoke point, is used as a staple in Asian cuisine, adding depth and aroma to stir fries and dressings. Additionally, the sesame seeds are sprinkled on bread, pastries, and desserts, enhancing both the flavor and visual appearance.

Sesame truly lives up to its reputation as “Gold for Growers” due to its wider adaptability, nutritional properties, and economic benefits, which make it an important crop in the agricultural industry. Whether a nutritious ingredient in culinary delights or a profitable enterprise for farmers, sesame keeps on shining as a golden opportunity for growers.

In Pakistan, there is a need to educate the growers to take agriculture as “business” by Adopting a short-duration crop with fewer input requirements and high income returns as compared to a traditional crop with a long duration and higher input responsiveness. Sesame is one of the crops that can ensure the stability of small-scale farmers by giving them undiminishing returns.

“Like a hidden treasure, sesame seeds bring richness and depth to culinary creations.” – (Anonymous)