Foreign demand hikes up price
of sesame seeds
17 June 2019
Foreign demand has driven up the price of sesame seeds (samon variety) in Yenangyoung Township of Magway Region, according to the sesame market. “At present, sesame cultivated using irrigation water is being harvested. It is fetching a good price of K80,000 per basket on account of its quality. Last year, the sesame seeds were priced around K67,000,” said U Aung Htay, a sesame grower from Magway. “The newly harvested sesame is called summer sesame. An acre produces eight baskets of sesame seeds, with farmers earning K600,000 per acre. The higher the number of acres, the more they will earn,” said U Thein Thein, a grower from Yenangyoung. In addition to foreign markets, Myanmar sesame seeds are sold in the domestic market as an ingredient in food and traditional medicine.
The Yenangyoung Township plans to cultivate 43,977 acres of monsoon sesame, 747 acres of winter sesame, and 1,061 acres of summer sesame, according to the Yenangyoung Agriculture Department. Japan prefers black sesame seeds cultivated in Myanmar using good agricultural practices (GAP) and purchases them after quality assessment. Meanwhile, China purchases various coloured sesame seeds. Sesame is cultivated in the country throughout the year. Magway Region, which has gained a reputation as the oil pot of Myanmar, is the main producer of sesame seeds. The seeds are also cultivated in Mandalay and Sagaing regions. Of the edible oil crops in Myanmar, sesame acreage is the highest, accounting for 51.3 per cent of the overall oil crop plantation.—San Nyunt (Yenangyoung) (Translated by Ei Myat Mon)