From Maduabuchi Nmeribeh, Kano
Kano state Governor, Dr. Abdullahi Umar Ganduje, has declared that Kano is the biggest Sesame market in Nigeria, providing means of livelihood to over five million sesame farmers in the country.
Ganduje described sesame as the most sought cash crop in the country
According to him, Kano with its commercial potentials being the biggest agricultural commodity hub in Africa is also the biggest sesame market in Nigeria.
Ganduje who spoke through his Deputy, Dr. Nasiru Yusuf Gawuna, on Thursday in Kano while declaring open a Sesame seed conference with the theme: “Developing the Sesame Seed Value Chain for Sustainable Growth,” organised by the National Sesame Seed Association in collaboration with Kano State Government, said the state government will continue to encourage Sesame farming.
According to him, the conference will create an avenue for stakeholders in the industry to identify the most effective ways to promote value chain development in the Sesame seed sector and to also discuss mutually beneficial trade opportunity so as to improve economic development and livelihood of smallholder farmers.
He described Sesame seed as the most sought cash crop in terms of export value in Nigeria, being one of the fastest growing sectors due to its foreign exchange earning and as a main source of income for about five million smallholder farmers.
He, however, assured that his administration is committed towards enhancing the production of Sesame both in terms of quantity and quality through financing, improved techniques and productivity.
The Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Alhaji Muhammad Sabo Nanono in his remarks highlighted the interventions given to the National Sesame Seed Association in the development of the sub-sector, which he said include the distribution of high yielding black,white and brown variety sesame seeds to boost productivity.
He added that 20 sesame cleaning machines were also distributed, in addition 2 model sesame processing centres were established in Nassarawa and Kano States respectively.
On her part, the Minister of State for Industries,Trade and Investment Ambassador Maryam Katagum represented by a Deputy Director Mr.Irimiya Kaura explained that the ministry is committed towards providing enabling environment that will enhance the competitiveness of Nigerian agricultural commodities in the global trade.
She also revealed that in continuation of developing sesame seed,the ministry is implementing a robust agribusiness and industry development initiative to draw investment to the non oil sector in the country.
Speaking earlier, the President of the National Sesame Seed Association Of Nigeria,Alh.Sherif Balogun stated that for the past 5years they have been working assiduously to promote the sesame seed value chain as well as increasing the production from 300,000 metric tons to over 500,000 tons.
He, therefore, called on the public to engage in massive sesame production and processing in order to benefit from government policies like the Anchor Borrowers Programme.
While appreciating the Kano State Government for partnering with them in organising the conference, he also commended Governor Abdullahi Ganduje for his support and effort towards making Kano a destination for agro-business investment.
The event was attended by the Jigawa State Commissioner Of Agriculture Alhaji Muhammad Alhassan who represented Governor Badaru Abubakar, Chaiman House Committee on Agricultural Institutions, Hon.Mannir Babba Dan Agundi and other stakeholders.