Prospects of production and exports of sesame crop in Sudan

Khartoum – Suitable climate and environment for cultivating sesame crop in Sudan give it preferential feature over that produced by other international producers, Professor of Field Crops at Agriculture Faculty, Khartoum University, Dr. Ghazi Hamed Badawi said.

Dr. Badawi explained the light clay soil, bright light and high temperature are suitable environment to produce sesame crop, which are more available in Sudan than other countries as they also provide the Sudanese sesame special features of high rate of oil and less rate of acidity.

A gathering of more than 150 local and international companies discussed in Khartoum recently issues of cultivating, trade and marketing of oilseeds, including sesame crop.

Chairman of the National Exporters Chamber Omar Bashir Al-Khalifa said in press statement that the conference was like international conferences that were held in China and India.

The current season found great chances to achieve high rate of production which needs promotion to facilitate process of export and to enter new markets, Al-Khalifa said, adding that oilseeds exports are still less than expectation, but he expected more production to meet the increasing demands.

Dealers in this trade expect that sesame trade would increase to 18 billion US $ in the near future.

Sesame is one of the important oilseeds in Sudan after sorghum and millet as it is considered as a food crop, an important raw material for manufacturing of fodders and significant cash crop for exporting.

Sudan ranks second of nine Arab and African states which export sesame in the world, as Sudan produces 80% of the crop cultivated in the Arab World and 40% of African production.

The local consumption of the crop amounts to about 60% of the annual product.

Expert Dr. Abdulattif Al-Ojeme explained that Sudanese sesame is distinguished as it is an organic product without any chemical or fertilizers a matter that enables the country to expand cultivation of the crop to be the leading exporter internationally, thus increase its contribution to the social and economic development of Sudan.

Sesame is one of oldest agricultural crops in Sudan. It was the only vegetable oil which locally produced and used widely. It ranked third regarding the cultivated area after sorghum and millet and in some seasons came second after cotton pertinent to export revenues.

Sesame production in Sudan faces some challenges including high cost of production, lack of scientific research, scarcity of skilled labour, and lack of funding for cultivating the crop because of its high risk.

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