Nigeria is one of the top ten global exporters of sesame, with annual exports of more than USD 35 million. In 2008, MARKETS began contributing to Nigeria’s sesame production by working with nearly 7,000 farmers in seven states [link to map with Bauchi, Benue, Katsina, Nasarawa, Niger, Jigawa and Plateau highlighted] and by securing guaranteed markets with our partners, Magnum Associates and Olam Nigeria Limited.
We are also working with First Bank and Fidelity Bank to provide credit to farmers who want to invest in purchasing the high quality seed, fertilizer and pesticides necessary to produce sesame for sale and export.
We have developed a “Package of Practices,” or growers’ guides, in English and Hausa [insert links] which we use to train farmers on best agronomic practices, so that farmers can increase their crop yields. In turn, the farmers then have more crop to sell to Magnum Associates and Olam Nigeria for processing. By demonstrating improved farming techniques, we assist farmers to ensure that their investments are sustained.
Although our involvement in sesame production is still in an early stage, we have already begun to observe considerable progress and expect our efforts to increase yields and income for farmers. We have already seen our activities generate export revenue, mobilize stakeholders to invest in agriculture in Nigeria, and support food security in the region.