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Government promotes sesame farming

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President Lazarus Chakwera has said his government will promote sesame farming as the country yearns for diversifying agricultural production.

Sesame seeds are used in salad dressings or marinades for added texture and a nutty flavour, among other things.

Currently, there are few farmers that grow the crop in Malawi.

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Speaking after inspecting a sesame field in Karonga on Thursday, Chakwera said he was excited that smallholder farmers in the district have demonstrated the desire to diversify their production.

“It is interesting that Karonga is the first district I have toured where I was not taken to a maize field for inspection. This is indicative of the potential other crops have to form a major component of our farming efforts as a country,” he said.

He said his tour in Karonga has convinced his government to encourage sesame farming on a large scale.

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“I learn the crop is also used for health remedies, confectionery manufacturing, culinary supplements and soap manufacturing,” he said.

If explored and supported adequately, experts say increased sesame production alongside other traditional legumes such as soy beans and groundnuts can enable the country to manufacturer more cooking oil that continues to be in high demand both within the borders and abroad.

However, the President lamented lack of structured markets for agricultural produce, saying this puts off most hardworking farmers in the country.

“Hardworking farmers must not suffer with unfair pricing or lack of markets. I have, therefore, advised the Minister of Agriculture to ensure they guard the farm-gate prices to help farmers earn decent income from their undertaking,” he said.

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