How to Start Sesame Farming in Nigeria



A Comprehensive Guide: How to Start Sesame Farming in Nigeria

A Comprehensive Guide: How to Start Sesame Farming in Nigeria

As a staff member of Gombella Integrated Services Limited, a leading exporter of sesame seeds, I often receive inquiries about starting sesame farming in Nigeria. In this blog post, I’ll provide a step-by-step guide on how to start sesame farming in Nigeria, from land preparation to harvesting and marketing.

Selecting the Right Location:

Selecting the right location is crucial for successful sesame farming in Nigeria. Choose a site with well-drained sandy loam soil, as sesame does not tolerate waterlogging. The location should receive plenty of sunlight, as sesame requires full sun for optimal growth and yield. Avoid areas prone to flooding or with high clay content, as these can hinder root development and lead to poor yields. Additionally, consider the proximity to water sources for irrigation, as sesame requires regular watering, especially during dry periods. Selecting the right location ensures that your sesame crop has the best possible conditions for healthy growth and high yields.

Preparing the Land:

Preparing the land is a critical step in sesame farming. Begin by clearing the land of weeds, rocks, and debris to create a clean planting area. Plow the soil to a fine tilth to ensure good seed-to-soil contact and proper drainage. If the soil is compacted, consider using a harrow or cultivator to loosen it. Adding organic matter, such as compost or manure, can improve soil fertility and structure. Finally, create raised beds or ridges for planting, as this can help with drainage and prevent waterlogging. Proper land preparation sets the foundation for a successful sesame crop in Nigeria.

Choosing the Right Variety:

Choosing the right variety is essential for successful sesame farming in Nigeria. Select a variety that is well-suited to the local climate and soil conditions. Consider factors such as drought tolerance, disease resistance, and yield potential. Popular varieties in Nigeria include Ex-Sudan, Ex-Benin, and Ex-Nigeria. Ex-Sudan is known for its high yield potential and good resistance to lodging, while Ex-Benin is valued for its early maturity and drought tolerance. Ex-Nigeria is a local variety that is well-adapted to Nigerian conditions. By choosing the right variety, you can maximize your sesame crop’s yield and quality.


Planting is a critical step in sesame farming in Nigeria. Begin by selecting high-quality seeds from a reputable source. Sesame seeds should be planted in well-prepared, weed-free soil. Sow the seeds at a depth of about 1 to 2 centimeters and space them 20 to 30 centimeters apart in rows spaced 60 to 90 centimeters apart. Ensure the seeds are planted evenly and cover them lightly with soil. Water the seeds immediately after planting and continue to water regularly, especially during dry periods. Proper planting ensures good germination and establishment, setting the stage for a successful sesame crop.

Watering and Fertilizing:

Watering and fertilizing are crucial for successful sesame farming in Nigeria. Sesame requires regular watering, especially during dry periods, to ensure proper growth and development. Irrigate the crop evenly, avoiding waterlogging, which can lead to root rot. Fertilization is also important, as sesame is a nutrient-demanding crop. Apply a balanced fertilizer before planting and side-dress with nitrogen fertilizer during the growing season to promote healthy growth. Organic matter, such as compost or manure, can also be applied to improve soil fertility. Proper watering and fertilization practices help maximize sesame yields and ensure a healthy crop.

Weeding and Pest Control:

Weeding and pest control are essential practices in sesame farming in Nigeria. Weeds compete with sesame plants for nutrients, water, and sunlight, reducing yield potential. Regular manual weeding or use of herbicides can help control weeds and maintain a clean planting area. Pest control is also important, as sesame is susceptible to attacks from pests such as aphids, leafhoppers, and caterpillars. Integrated pest management strategies, including the use of pesticides, biopesticides, and cultural practices, can help minimize pest damage and protect sesame plants. Regular monitoring and early intervention are key to effective weed and pest control in sesame farming.


Harvesting sesame in Nigeria is done when the lower leaves of the plants start to turn yellow, and the capsules at the base of the plants begin to crack open. This usually occurs 90 to 150 days after planting, depending on the variety and growing conditions. Sesame can be harvested by hand or using a mechanical harvester. After harvesting, the sesame plants are left to dry in the field for a few days to reduce moisture content. The seeds are then threshed to separate them from the capsules and other plant materials. Proper timing and techniques are crucial for a successful sesame harvest.

Processing and Marketing:

Processing sesame seeds in Nigeria involves cleaning, drying, and sorting the seeds to remove impurities and ensure quality. The seeds are then ready for packaging and marketing. Sesame seeds can be sold locally or exported to international markets. You can contact local buyers or exporters, such as Gombella Integrated Services Limited, to sell your sesame seeds.


Starting sesame farming in Nigeria can be a rewarding venture, both financially and environmentally. By following these steps and seeking advice from local agricultural experts, you can start your sesame farming journey and contribute to the growth of Nigeria’s agricultural sector.

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