Under the support of Network Activities Group (NAG), Magway Region Farmer Development Association (Magway RFDA) linked the companies with over 2,000 sesame growers cultivated under good agricultural practices (GAP) for necessary fertilizer input utilizing loan from the banks, according to NAG.
Between April and early May 2020, RFDA helped connect 2,263 GAP sesame growers from 56 villages of six townships; Magway, Minbu, Minhla, Yenangyaung, Natmauk and Myothit, with six companies, to purchase fertilizer for the coming monsoon season. They took out loans at 10 per cent of annual interest from Myanma Economic Bank and bought 11,276 fertilizer bags. Moreover, 759 growers lent from Myanmar Citizens Bank at annual interest rate of 11.5 per cent, through Good Brothers Company and purchased 2,589 fertilizer bags. NAG stated.
Next, GAP sesame growers from Chauk Township, Magway Region have planned to cultivate over 2,500 sesame acres this year, the township Agriculture Department stated.
The respective agriculture departments have been conducting agricultural awareness activities to benefit the growers. The growers in Magway Region have been growing interest in GAP system as it is offered high price. They are trying to seek GAP certificate.
The sesame seeds are now priced K115,000-215,000 per bag for various sesame seeds depending on the quality.
China is the main buyer of Myanmar’s sesame, which is also shipped to markets in Japan, South Korea, China (Taipei), UK, Germany, the Netherlands, Greece, and Poland among the EU countries.
The EU markets prefer organic-farming sesame seeds from Myanmar, said an official from the Trade Promotion Department.
Japan prefers Myanmar’s black sesame seeds, cultivated under good agricultural practices (GAP), and purchases them after a quality assessment. Black sesame seeds from Myanmar are also exported to South Korea and Japan. Meanwhile, China purchases various coloured sesame seeds from the country.
The number of sesame acreages has increased in the country. 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 grown in Mandalay and Sagaing regions.
Of the cooking oil crops grown in Myanmar, the acreage under sesame is the highest, accounting for 51.3 per cent of the overall oil crop plantation.
The volume of sesame exports was registered at over 96,000 tonnes, worth $130 million, in the 2015-2016 fiscal year; $100,000 tonnes, worth $145 million, in the 2016-2017FY; and, 120,000 tonnes, worth $147 million, in the 2017-2018FY. —Ko Htet (Translated by Ei Myat Mon)