The Rufiji District Council in Coast Region has recorded an impressive financial performance of 60m/- from sesame (simsim) which has become the leading crop in terms of earnings in the region.
District Commissioner Nurdin Babu said despite the achievements, the district should lay down its long and short term plans to ensure it increases production of the crop to 5,000 tons in the 2012/2013 season from 280 tons produced in the 2005/2006 season.
DC Babu explained further that the achievement made by the district was because of the cooperation between the district officials and those in the Ministry of Industry, Trade and Marketing.
“This is one of the most important crops and of various benefits to farmers, but proper processing needs to be done by the farmers to ensure there is a win to win situation for both players in the market,” he said.
The research conducted by Rural Micro and Small Medium Enterprises (MUVI) has revealed that apart from mango, pineapple and cassava, sesame bought by businesspersons during cultivation and the customers’ prices are unusually non negotiable.
Speaking to The Guardian during the five-day training at Mkuranga District in Coast Region, MUVI information and consulting officer Silas Bwena said it is projected that sesame will become the major crop for many businesses in the region.
He said that the huge demand for the crop has sent an early signal that the crop will lead others such as cassava and mango in the near future.
A hot debate that ensued during the five-day training envisaged that the crop will help the farmers in the region out of poverty.
Bwena added that while in 2000 the price of sesame was 500/-, today is has surged 1500/- per kg, which has activated its production to many farmers in Coast Region.
According to the study conducted by Dr Elly Kafriti from Research Centre at Naliendele in Mtwara Region seeds from sesame are among the leading source of foreign currency to the government.
He said that in 2005 the government earned sesame nearly 20bn/- from export of 32,000 tons.