The National Sesame Seed Association of Nigeria, Jigawa Chapter says it is targeting 80,000 tonnes of sesame production in the state at the end of 2019.
Alhaji Ibrahim Bala-Kwalam, the newly elected Chairman of the chapter, made the disclosure in Hadejia.
“Our annual sesame production output over the years was in the region of 50,000 tonnes and a little bit more.
“But with the expansion of the state government’s Cluster Support Programme to cover sesame farmers, the 80,000 tonnes mark is realistic.
“In fact, Gov. Mohammad Badaru has directed me to identify and screen genuine sesame farmers who will benefit from various farm inputs under the programme.
“Those captured will be given fertiliser, sprayers, herbicides, pesticides, seeds and even soft loans,” Bala-Kwalam said.
The chairman said 23 of the 27 local government areas in the state were actively involved in sesame cultivation.
“With 23 local government areas cultivating sesame, Jigawa is among the largest sesame producing states, if not the largest in the country.
“There are over 30 sesame markets in the state, including Gujungu, Maigatari, Babura, Hadejia, Beguwa, Suletankarkar, Dakayyawa, Ringim, Birninkudu and Sara markets.
“In some of these markets, over 30 trucks loaded with sesame are dispatched daily to different parts of the country or beyond,” he said.
Bala-Kwalam vowed to end adulteration of sesame by grain merchants, describing the act as the biggest threat posed to marketing the commodity in the state.
“My priority is to liaise with relevant authorities to rid our markets of adulterated sesame, which lowers price and drives customers away.
“What the undesirable elements do is add shaft or sand to a bag to increase its weight; this is unacceptable,” he said.
Bala-Kwalam commended Badaru for recently attending a conference on sesame value chain in Turkey, saying the act would boost investment in the commodity.