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‘Increased sesame production, value chain will boost economic recovery’

By Femi Ibirogba
18 November 2021   |   2:49 am
The Director-General of the Raw Material Research and Development Council (RMRDC), Prof. Hussaini Doko Ibrahim, has called on Nigerian industrialists to maximise investments


The Director-General of the Raw Material Research and Development Council (RMRDC), Prof. Hussaini Doko Ibrahim, has called on Nigerian industrialists to maximise investments in the value chain of sesame processing rather than the export of raw seeds.

Sesame is currently mostly cultivated seed around the dry tropics between the latitudes of 40° N and S and is capable of contributing to the revival of the economy through the value chain.   

Worldwide, in 2018, sesame was cultivated on an estimated area of about 11.7 million hectares with Sudan, India, Myanmar, United Republic of Tanzania and South Sudan contributing 29.6,14.7, 12.5,6.8 and 5.3% of the world total area harvested of sesame.

According to FAOSTAT, the top five world sesame seed producers were Sudan (981 000 tons), Myanmar (768 858 tons), India (746 000 tons), Nigeria (572 761 tons) and the United Republic of Tanzania (561 103 tons).

There are two types of sesame seeds produced in Nigeria. These are the white/raw food-grade used in the bakery industry, which contains 98-100 per cent white grade seeds and the brown/mixed type primarily used for oil production. 

Currently, there are 26 sesame-growing states in Nigeria; Adamawa, Bauchi, Benue, Borno, Gombe, Jigawa, Kaduna, Kano, Katsina, Kebbi, Kogi, Nassarawa, Niger, Plateau, Sokoto, Taraba, Yobe, and Abuja. Jigawa has the highest area of production and total production in the country followed by Benue State. 

Hence, experts believe that Nigeria can produce up to 1.5 million tonnes per annum and maximise the benefits of the value chain. 

To promote value addition to sesame seed, the council said it had established a sesame processing plant at the Technology Incubation Centre in Agege, Lagos, for oil and cake production.

In 2019, the bakery and confectionery products segment contributed a significant market share, which is expected to grow at a healthy rate during the forecast period.

Prof Ibrahim said: “The increasing adoption of sesame seeds in the bakery and snacks is driving the growth of the market. Moreover, the rising inclination towards healthier products is boosting the market growth. The cosmetics segment is expected to grow at a robust rate owing to the growing demand for organic/natural cosmetics across the globe.”

He added that to improve sesame seed quality, reduce processing time and increase output, local utilisation and export, the council had deployed multi-grain thresher and winnowing machines to Nagari Ridi Cooperative Society, Dakin Gari, Kebbi State, where production is high.

The thresher has the capacity of threshing 1.5 tonnes of grains (sesame, sorghum, millet, maize, groundnut, beans) per hour, while the winnowing machine has the capacity to process 500kgs of grains per hour.

Similarly, RMRDC, in partnership with the Dantata Group, is establishing a sesame seed processing factory at Abaji Area Council of FCT.

The processing factory, the council boss disclosed, would comprise one-tonne/hour sesame seed dehulling plant, 8,000 tonnes/yearly multi-purpose grains cleaning machine, 4.5 tonnes/hour mini-sesame seed oil extracting machine and 100 tonnes/day sesame seed oil refinery.

Prof Ibrahim added that RMRDC had established a model plant designed to serve as a demonstration centre to encourage investors to utilise proven indigenous processing technologies and academic research on raw materials development and utilisation in Nigeria. 

“RMRDC has also installed an edible oil extraction plant with many nozzle sizes at the centre to determine the oil yield and quality of some of Nigeria oilseeds. As a result of its various nozzle sizes, the expellers are capable of processing a variety of seeds and nuts of various sizes. 

“They have been used to expel sesame oil. Without a doubt, Nigeria will soon develop requisite capacities for sesame seed development locally. In view of its multiplicity of uses in several industrial sectors and its foreign exchange generation capability, RMRDC is set to collaborate with willing investors to use sesame seed development as a yardstick to foster post-COVID-19 era industrial development agenda in Nigeria,” he said in a statement. 

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