Sesame Seed, also called benniseed is the most sought after vegetable oil in the world as its industrial ingredients can be used for the production of margarine, canned sardine, corned beef, soap making and ink and is well preferred to other vegetable oils because of its lack of odour, chemical composition, colour and taste.

Nigeria is the second largest producer of sesame seed in Africa, and ranking seventh in the World.

The major producing areas in order of priority are Nasarawa, Jigawa and Benue States. Other important areas of production are found in Yobe, Kano, Katsina, Kogi, Gombe, Kwara, Niger, Bauchi and Plateau States.

Nigeria currently produces about 300,000 metric tonnes of Sesame Seed.

Sesame seed is a source of highly nutritional oil used for cooking. It is also used to garnish and decorate confectionaries e.g cake, bread, sweet, burger, hot dogs, etc. It is used in the manufacture of pharmaceuticals, soap and cosmetics, production of animal feeds, etc.

A tonne of sesame seed currently sells for about N450,000 – N470,000, depending on if it is hand or machined peeled.

Major destinations for Nigeria sesame seed are China, Turkey, Japan and India. Other countries like Poland and Netherland also receive Nigerian Sesame in smaller quantities.

The season for Sesame Seeds sales is between November and April of the following year.

Harvesting begins in November annually. Each producing area has only one season.

Since sesame is a small flat seed, it is difficult to move much air through it in a storage bin. Therefore, the seeds need to be harvested as dry as possible and stored at 6 percent moisture or less. If the seed is too moist, it can quickly heat up and become rancid.

After harvesting, the seeds are cleaned and hulled. The seeds pass through an air separation stage to remove any foreign particles. About 10 percent of this “cleaned natural seed” moves directly into food use as whole seed to be blended into flour for baked goods.

Next, a combination of water and friction work together as the seeds are passed against the chamber of the hulling machine to separate the hull from the seeds. This dust-free de-hulled seed makes up 30 percent of domestic production and has 99.97 percent purity for the baked goods market.

Once the seeds have been hulled, they are passed through an electronic color-sorting machine that rejects any discolored seeds to ensure perfectly colored sesame seeds. Immature or off-sized seed is removed but saved for oil production.

Jute bag is highly recommended for packaging for export. It allows for aeration and at the same time safely holding the seeds, which are very small in size. The weight per bag varies; they are packed in 45kg, 50kg or 60kg, depending on the market dictate.


For further information on Sesame seed investment;
Contact; Agro News Nigeria’s Agro Commodities Investment Unit.
Email; agronewsnigeria@gmail .com or
Call; 08035044364, 07031097516.