A local Agricultural Firm, Nyatsande Agriculture is helping Sesame Seed farmers get value for their product by linking them to European markets where the seeds are brought at higher prices.
The seed, which has the potential to attract millions of dollars from exports due to its demand in Europe was being brought at very low prices by Mozambican buyers according to farmers.
As a result, local farmers development low interest in farming the seeds due to low financial returns.
However, Nyatande Agriculture has come in to provide a reliable ecosystem around sesame seed for farmers. The firm is carrying out a program where the seeds are bought from growers at high producer prices. The seeds will then be exported to international markets which creates a reliable market for growers.
One of the beneficiaries of the program called Angeline Nyabudu told the reporter that the company has saved sesame seed farmers from exploitation as they now get value for their product.
“Nyatande Agriculture has saved us from exploitation from Mozambican buyers who used to buy our product for very low prices. Farmers were now losing interest in farming the seed because of low financial returns. But now we are motivated. Next season I am going to increase my hectrage because Nyatsande Agriculture has given us the confidence to grow larger volumes,” said Nyabudu.
She urged fellow farmers to start growing Sesame seeds and encouraged relevant authorities and stakeholders to support the company for it to continue changing lives.
In an interview with State of the Nation News, the Managing Director of Nyatande Agriculture, Mr Ronald Murowe, expressed gratitude to the sesame seed growers for trusting them with their produce.
“I would like to thank the growers for their overwhelming show of support and enthusiasm to work with a local company in sesame seed marketing. We have the opportunity to grow the national production of sesame seed in Zimbabwe to over 100,000 tonnes per year. With the support of local and international financial institutions like the African Development Bank AfDB, we will create a viable value chain that will benefit millions of the poorest citizens in the country,” said Murowe.
Zimbabwe’s annual marketing of sesame seed has in the past been left to buyers from across borders.
Internationally sesame seed contributed $3 billion dollars to international trade in 2022, with Zimbabwe only officially realizing a paltry contribution of $85,000 on its official GDP figures.
The Advent of Nyatande Agriculture will see the country realizing stronger revenues from this little known cash crop that is staple in Asian markets.
As Africa continues its fight with climate change, drought resistant sesame seed is set to create new revenue streams for a lot of countries.
If firms like Nyatande Agriculture get support from African governments and banking institutions, they will grow exponentially together with farmers.
The government of Zimbabwe has already shown its support for Nyatande Agriculture by approving legislation that allows the company to implement a 100,000 participant outgrower scheme in the 2023/24 cropping season.