World Sesame Convention, 19 - 20 Aug 2019 @ Hyatt Regency, Istanbul, Turkey

Background:

Sesame seed is one of the wonder foods of nature with 50% fat, 23% carbohydrates, 18% protein, 12% dietary fiber and a host of nutrients. Sesame seed is preferred world over for its taste, aroma, colour, crunchiness and nutrients. Increasingly, sesame seed usage has spread beyond bread and confectionary to a variety of food preparations as an important food ingredient.

World sesame seed production is estimated at around 4. 8 million tons with 10 countries - Myanmar, India, China, Tanzania, Sudan, Ethiopia, Nigeria, Burkina Faso, Uganda and Niger accounting for over 80% of the production. Africa collectively accounts for over 45% of the crop and in the last 10 years has grown in stature as a fast-growing supplier of sesame seed to the world market.

Of the global production, over two million tons are exported every year mainly to China (one million tons), Japan (150,000 tons), Turkey (150,000 tons), European Union (150,000 tons), South Korea (100,000 tons) and Vietnam (100,000 tons). USA, Saudi Arabia, UAE are other importers. Natural sesame seed and hulled are two popular forms in which most of the trade takes place.

  • The demand for Sesame seed is steady and growing thanks to the versatility and growing awareness about the health benefits of sesame seed. However, the global sesame seed industry faces several challenges-poor yields, vulnerability to climate change, supply chain inefficiencies, in some cases infrastructure deficiencies. On the trade side, there are challenges as well, although in recent times through tendering and creation of warehouse in China many of the challenges have been successfully addressed.
  • Country-level initiatives and get-together are popular in sesame industry with annual conferences in China and Ethiopia addressing country and region-specific opportunities. While these are very useful initiatives, given the growth potential, vast geographic spread of the industry, nature of supply chain, there is a need for creating a global platform for the industry.
  • World Sesame Convention 2019 is a modest beginning in this direction with the support and cooperation of the existing industry stakeholders.