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Sesame (Sesame indicum L.) Crop Production in Ethiopia: Trends, Challenges and Future Prospects

J Zerihun

Abstract


The Aim of this paper is to review the importance of sesame (Sesamum indicum L.) oil crop, production status in Ethiopia, constraints, potentials and future opportunities. Sesame is one of the most important high value oil crops in Ethiopia contributing high foreign currency. Sesame oil is useful edible oil and has wide applications. Different reports indicate that the sesame production is increasing from year to year which is mainly driven by high current market demand and suitability of environmental factors.
For instance, the recent five years data indicated that the production is growing at the rate of about 54% in parallel with an increased area  coverage of about 45% during the same years indicating a yield gain from extensive farming system. The production is concentrated in South western and north western parts of Ethiopian. The three commonly used sesame commercial varieties in these areas are known by their brand name as Humera, Gondar and Wollega types. The presence of genetic diversity in
sesame genetic resources, proximity of Ethiopia to the international market, an increased demand for Ethiopian sesame, the presence of relatively high oil content of sesame cultivars and suitability of  environmental condition for sesame growth will give high opportunity for Ethiopia to improve the crop. Therefore, to increase yield potential and quality of sesame crop and achieve better profit requires the collaborative efforts of all stake holders in capacity building on sesame crop  improvement and post harvest handling of the crop, development of high yielding widely adapted cultivars with better resistance to diseases and pests, development of improved agronomic and managemental practices, environmental clustering for high oil quality and creating a capacity to process the sesame and/or oil seeds in the country.



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