Profit-making idea: Sesame production a growth industry


Profit-making idea is a series of short posts, each with a piece of information that we think you might find useful: for investment, for growing your company or to start a new business.

Sesame production is currently one of the hottest industries in Nigeria, according to Aubrey Hruby, an investment advisor and founder of the Africa Expert Network. “Everyone is looking at sesame,” she said at the recent SuperReturn Africa conference in Cape Town.

The seed is a common topping on bakery products and an important ingredient in many Asian dishes. According to an article by the NTU-SBF Centre for African Studies, China used to be the world’s biggest exporter of sesame, but now the country’s farming habits have changed – and Africa is filling the void. The continent’s production of sesame seeds is rocketing, with some countries experiencing up to 20% growth. It is estimated that Africa accounts for about a third of the global sesame production and contributes about 70% to the global trade, a share that continues to grow.

Nigeria is already a large producer of sesame, and the industry could see further growth as the country tries to diversify from oil production. Due to a shortage of US dollars in the country, many entrepreneurs are also increasingly looking at export opportunities in order to gain access to foreign currency.