Sesame: Economic importance and production

Updated: May 28 2007, 06:33am hrs
What is the economic importance of sesame seed

Sesame seed, commonly known as Til in India is largely produced for its oil and is also used as a flavoring agent. The seeds come in several colours like red, white, black, yellow, depending upon the variety of the seeds. Sesame seeds have high nutritive value and are used in numerous cuisines all over the world, especially in the Middle Eastern countries. The seeds have high oil content around 55%. Sesame oil is used in cooking and in preparation of salads and also finds its use in the production of margarine, soaps, pharmaceuticals, paints and lubricants. The residue left after the extraction of oil is known as the oil seed cake which is used as cattle feed.

What is the total global production of sesame seed Which are the major producing countries

The total global production of sesame seed sums up to around 30 lakh tonne annually. The world production of sesame is dominated by a few countries that lie in the African and Asian continents. China produces the maximum out of them all sharing approximately 25% share in the world's total production. Other producers include Nigeria, Pakistan, Ethiopia, Bangladesh, Central African Republic, Thailand, Tanzania, Egypt, Guatemala, Chad, Paraguay, Iran, Senegal, Turkey and Mexico.

What is the domestic production scenario of sesame

Indias annual average production hovers around 6,80,000 metric tonne contributing to around 22% of the world's total sesame production. Some time ago, India was enjoying the topmost position in the list of major producers but Chinas improvement in the production and India's slow steady growth allowed China to take over the lead from India. The states of Gujarat, West Bengal, Rajasthan, Tamil Nadu, Orissa, Madhya Pradesh, Andhra Pradesh, Maharashtra, Uttar Pradesh, Punjab and Karnataka are the major producing states.

Is India a net importer or net exporter of sesame in the world market

In the world market for sesame, India has a reputation of being a net exporter. The country is one of the largest exporters of sesame exporting between 5 lakh to 6 lakh metric tonne of sesame annually. As the production in India is sufficient to satisfy the domestic consumption demand, around 25% of the total production is exported to different countries. India exports sesame to Germany, Turkey, Netherlands, the US, Greece, Hong Kong, Israel, China, the UK and the UAE.

Which are the major markets in India where sesame seed and oil are traded

The major trading centre in India where sesame seed is traded is the Saurashtra region of Gujarat, whereas sesame oil is traded in the states of Tamil Nadu and Kerala. Sesame seed is also traded in the major commodity exchanges in India.

Courtesy MCX Training