Renowned agriculturist Felix Jumbe says Malawians have what it takes to boost the economic status only if farming families are oriented on Crop diversification saying it is an important mechanism for overall agriculture development in the country.
Jumbe made the remarks on Thursday when the media toured his 20 Hectares of Sesame Crop in the lakeshore area of Salima district.
He said it is high time Malawians have been depending of tobacco as the only potential crop for export.
“Yes! As a country we have been depending as tobacco for export, but now we can also give space to other crops like Sesame, believe you me Sesame has potential to change the economic status of our country considering that it fetches high prices on the international Mmarket,” he said.
He explained that he is expected to realize about 20 tons of Sesame which can be translated to about 16 million Malawi kwacha.
He added, “Sesame is very drought tolerant, due in part to an extensive root system. However it requires adequate moisture for germination and early growth and also it is adaptable to many soil types.”
According to Jumbe, Sesame can be used in several ways including baking, candy making and other food industries and then encouraged Malawian farmers to start thinking outside the box to realize other potential crops for the benefit of the country.
“As farmers, sometime we need to take risks as I did and I am pretty sure that I will benefit from my risk taking on growing sesame,” he added.
Sesame is normally self-pollinated. Although cross pollination by insects is common. The fruit is deeply grooved capsule that contains 50 to 100 or more seeds.
Today, India and China are the world’s largest producers of Sesame. Other countries that grow sesame are Burma, Sudan, Mexico, Nigeria, Venezuela, turkey, Uganda and Ethiopia.