Somalia’s Sesame Seed Farmers Prosper

Speeches Shim

Tuesday, August 25, 2020
A Somalia Growth, Enterprise, Employment and Livelihoods-supported sesame farmer weeds sesame plants at a demonstration and training plot in Afgoye,
Somalia. / SATG

Producers are reemerging in international markets despite the devastating effects of droughts and COVID-19

Cooking oil in the Middle East. Tahini in the Mediterranean. Massage oil in Asia. Perhaps a garnish for a loaf of bread at a bakery near you. Sesame seeds are used in food and health products around the globe, and USAID is helping Somalia reestablish itself as an international exporter of this naturally tough crop.

Years ago, Somalia was one of the world’s leading exporters of sesame. However, 30 years of civil conflict have severely damaged the profitability of the industry. Having lost their competitive edge, Somalia’s sesame farmers are currently planting poor-quality seeds and lacking adequate training. Combined with seasonal droughts and antiquated farming methods, low yields are a result.

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