Breaking into the International Market: Exporting Sesame Seeds from Nigeria 

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One of the world’s leading sesame seed producers, Nigeria produces high-quality seeds that are in great demand in worldwide markets. Many Nigerian farmers and businesspeople are attempting to enter the international sesame seed industry due to the potential for lucrative exports. However, to comply with international standards and laws, exporting calls for adequate processing and packing. The stages required in exporting sesame seeds from Nigeria, such as processing, packing, and shipping, as well as the challenges and opportunities associated with breaking into the global market, will all be covered in this article.

Sesame seeds farming in Nigeria: A beginner’s guide

Due to its great economic worth and advantageous nutritional properties, sesame seed growing is a significant agricultural activity in Nigeria. Here is a step-by-step beginner’s guide to getting you started if you are new to sesame seed growing in Nigeria and are interested:

Step 1: Choose the Right Location

Sesame seeds might flourish in various soils, however picking a spot with natural matter-rich, well drained soil is critical. The pH of the soil ought to range from 6.0 to 7.5. Furthermore, water system frameworks or a consistent supply of water ought to be accessible at the right site.

Step 2: Select the Right Variety:  

Sesame seeds come in a number of types, and it’s crucial to choose the one that is best for the local growth circumstances. Kano, Maiduguri, and Zaria are a few of the well-known cultivars cultivated in Nigeria.

Step 3: Planting

Sesame seeds may either be planted straightforwardly in the ground or filled in a nursery prior to being relocated. In the case of planting straightforwardly, seeds ought to be set 40-50 cm separated and 10-15 cm inside lines, and they ought to be planted at a profundity of 2-3 cm. In the case of utilizing a nursery, plant the seeds in a mix of completely ready soil, and after around 4-6 weeks, move the seedlings.

Step 4: Fertilizer and Weed Control:

For optimum development, sesame seed plants need fertilizers and weed control. Apply high-nitrogen, high-phosphorus, and high-potassium organic or inorganic fertilizers during planting time and once again 4-6 weeks later. To manage weeds, use pesticides or physical weeding.

Step 5: Pest and Disease Control:  

Pests and diseases including stem rot, bacterial blight, and pod borers are common on sesame seed plants. Use insecticides or natural remedies like neem oil or garlic spray to get rid of bugs. Crop rotation and avoiding planting in places where sesame seeds have previously been cultivated are two ways to prevent infections.

Step 6: Harvesting

After sowing, sesame seed plants develop in around 90 to 120 days, and the seeds should be harvested when they become brown or gray. Before threshing to remove the seeds, cut the plant at the base and let it dry for a few days.

Step 7: Marketing:

Sesame seeds are highly sought after both domestically and abroad. You may export your sesame seeds to foreign markets or sell them to local consumers.

Quality control and standards for sesame seed export from Nigeria

Sesame seed exports are a key agricultural product in Nigeria, giving farmers a source of income and making a sizable contribution to the economy of the nation. Following quality control procedures across the whole value chain, from manufacturing to export, is crucial if Nigerian sesame seeds are to fulfill international standards and laws.

Sesame seed quality may be impacted by processes including harvesting, storing, handling, and transportation. In order to retain the seeds’ quality, it is necessary to make sure they are grown in suitable circumstances, collected at the proper time, and stored correctly.

The organization in charge of making sure that agricultural exports adhere to the appropriate criteria is the Nigerian Agricultural Quarantine Service (NAQS). Sesame seeds destined for export are examined and certified by NAQS to make sure they adhere to the required quality requirements.

The Standards Organisation of Nigeria (SON), in addition to NAQS, is in charge of creating and enforcing standards for all products and services in Nigeria, including sesame seeds. In Nigeria, SON establishes the minimal requirements for the handling, packing, labeling, and quality of sesame seeds. These requirements comply with laws and regulations from other countries, including those set by the Codex Alimentarius Commission.

Sesame seeds must be free of impurities like dirt, stones, and insects in order to achieve the quality requirements necessary for export. The seeds must also be of acceptable color, flavor, and scent. The seeds must also be correctly cleaned, graded, and packed in compliance with the standards established by SON and NAQS.

Exporters of sesame seeds from Nigeria must get a phytosanitary certificate from NAQS, which confirms that the seeds have been examined and are free of pests and illnesses. The phytosanitary certificate is a prerequisite for export, and failing to meet this criterion might lead to the importing nation rejecting the consignment.

Logistics and shipping options for exporting sesame seeds from Nigeria 

Nigerian sesame seed export businesses are potentially lucrative, but they need careful logistical and transportation planning. When importing sesame seeds from Nigeria, the following alternatives for logistics and transportation should be taken into account:

Air Freight: Exporting sesame seeds from Nigeria is a common and dependable alternative for air freight. The primary benefit of air freight is its speed, since items may be delivered within a few days to distant locations. But it may be pricey, particularly for big shipments.

Sea Freight: Large amounts of sesame seeds may be sent at a reasonable price via sea freight. Full container loads (FCL) and less than container loads (LCL) are only a few of the many shipping choices available. It may take longer than air freight but is dependable. (LCL).

Road Freight: Exporting sesame seeds to nearby nations may be done easily via road freight. Additionally, it enables flexible delivery dates and is cost-effective for smaller shipments.

Shipping and Logistics Firms: Various transportation and logistic firms are centered around exporting products from Nigeria to different nations. These organizations give different administrations, like door-to-door delivery, cargo insurance, and customs clearance.

It’s crucial to choose the shipping and logistical solution that best fits your needs in terms of logistics and shipping when exporting sesame seeds from Nigeria. To guarantee that your package reaches its destination on time and in excellent shape, work with a reputed shipping and logistics firm.

Market analysis: demand and pricing trends for sesame seeds in Europe 

Sesame seeds are a famous ingredient in different European cuisines, and in that capacity, there is a developing interest in them in the region. The interest in sesame seeds in Europe is driven by the rising demand for plant-based food varieties, as well as the acknowledgment of their nutritional advantages.

According to a recent report by Mordor Intelligence, the European sesame seed market is supposed to develop at a CAGR of 2.3% from 2021 to 2026. The report likewise recommends that the rising interest in natural and non-GMO sesame seeds is a major trend in the market.

As far as value, the expense of sesame seeds in Europe is impacted by a few factors like supply and demand, quality, and currency exchange rates. The cost of sesame seeds can fluctuate depending on the country of origin, with countries like India and Ethiopia being major producers and exporters.

Sesame seed cost in Europe has been somewhat steady in recent years, with a slight increase in 2021 because of supply chain disruptions brought about by the Coronavirus pandemic. The normal cost of sesame seeds in Europe is between €1.5 to €2.5 per kilogram. 

However, the pure white sesame seed, which is the best sesame seed for trade from Nigeria because of its consistent quality and greater oil content, is presently promoted at N660,000 for every ton, while earthy-colored sesame seed is presented at N560,000 for each ton. It’s essential to have in mind that expenses could change due to various factors, including location, quality, market condition, demand, and supply, as shown previously.

Sesame seed utilization is expected to increment further in Europe because of the expanded acknowledgment of plant-based eats less and the information on sesame seeds’ wholesome benefits. Various factors influence sesame seed cost, which has been steady as of late.

Export financing options for Nigerian sesame seed exporters  

To satisfy their financial demands and guarantee the efficient functioning of their enterprises, Nigerian sesame seed exporters depend on export finance. Nigerian sesame seed exporters may choose from the following alternatives for export financing:

Export Development Fund: To assist Nigerian companies who are focused on exporting, the Nigerian Export Promotion Council (NEPC) provides the Export Development Fund (EDF). The fund offers financial assistance for export promotion initiatives such as export market studies, participation in trade shows, and export promotion trips.

Export Credit Insurance: The Nigeria Export-Import Bank offers export credit insurance to Nigerian sesame seed exporters. (NEXIM). The insurance protects exporters against non-payment by international purchasers by covering losses brought on by commercial or political risks.

Pre-shipment Inspection: All exports from Nigeria must pass the Pre-shipment Inspection (PSI), which is a required inspection. The Nigerian Inspection Company (NIC), which offers exporters money in the form of a loan secured by the export order, carries out the inspection. This choice gives exporters the resources they need to finance the creation of their products prior to shipping.

Export Financing Guarantee Scheme: The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) provides the Export Financing Guarantee Scheme (EFSG) to assist non-oil exports like sesame seeds. In order to obtain credit facilities at a cheaper interest rate, the plan gives foreign buyers access to loans and guarantees from participating banks.

Letters of Credit: Letters of Credit (LC) are financial instruments that guarantee payment to the exporter upon the satisfaction of certain requirements and are issued by banks. This choice minimizes the risk of nonpayment by international purchasers by ensuring that the exporter gets payment before the items are dispatched.

Sesame seeds processing and packaging for international markets 


In order to achieve international standards and attract customers, it is crucial to correctly process and package the widely used commodity known as sesame seeds. Here is a quick guide on packing and preparing sesame seeds for export:

Cleaning: Cleaning is the first stage of sesame seed processing. This entails cleaning the seeds of any contaminants, foreign objects, or other undesirable elements. A destoner or winnowing machine, for example, may be used to do this manually or with their help.

Sorting: The seeds should be sorted after cleaning to get rid of any damaged or discolored ones. This is crucial to ensuring that the finished product is of a high caliber and satisfies the requirements of markets throughout the world.

Roasting: Sesame seeds may be “roasted” to bring out more of their taste and scent. This is often accomplished by cooking the seeds for 10–15 minutes at 170°C in a dry pan or oven.

Grinding: To make items like tahini or halva, sesame seeds may be processed into a paste or powder. A mechanical grinder or a stone grinder may be used for this.

Packaging: Sesame seeds should be packaged properly to preserve their quality throughout storage and transit. To avoid spoiling, sesame seeds should be stored in airtight, moisture-resistant packaging made of food-grade materials. Important details including the product name, net weight, country of origin, and expiry date should also be included on the package.

Marketing strategies for Nigerian sesame seed exporters

Exporters of sesame seeds from Nigeria require efficient marketing plans to broaden their market and boost sales. Here are some ideas to think about:

Tip 1: Establish Strong Relationships

Developing trusting connections with customers is essential for an export firm to succeed. Attend trade exhibitions, industry gatherings, and other networking events to meet prospective customers and develop trust.

Tip 2: Use Social Media:

Using social media to reach a larger audience is affordable. Use social media sites like Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn to communicate with prospective clients while showcasing your goods and areas of expertise.

Tip 3: Develop a Strong Brand:  

A good brand identity aids in setting your company apart from rivals. Create a distinctive logo and package design to distinguish your items.

Tip 4: Invest in Quality Assurance

Make certain that the quality and safety of your sesame seeds satisfy international standards. To show your dedication to quality, get certifications from organizations like HACCP, ISO, or BRC.

Tip 5: Offer Competitive Pricing

Do some market research and choose reasonable prices for your goods. To promote recurring business, take into account providing bulk discounts or other rewards.

Tip 6: Provide Excellent Customer Service

To foster loyalty and promote repeat business, provide prompt and helpful customer service. Inquiries should be answered quickly, and information should be accurate.

Tip 7: Partner with Freight Forwarders

A timely and affordable delivery of your items may be ensured by working with reputable freight forwarders. To make sure possible partners fit your needs, do some research and screening on them.

Navigating trade regulations and compliance for sesame seed export from Nigeria

Navigating trade laws and requirements to export sesame seeds from Nigeria

Sesame seed export from Nigeria demands great attention to detail while navigating trade rules and compliance to prevent any legal problems or fines. Here is a succinct and clear guide to assist you understand trade laws and compliance for the export of sesame seeds from Nigeria:

Obtain necessary licenses and permits: Obtain the required licenses and permits from the appropriate government bodies, such as the Nigerian Export Promotion Council (NEPC), the Standards Organization of Nigeria (SON), and the Nigerian Agricultural Quarantine Service, in order to export sesame seeds from Nigeria. (NAQS).

Comply with quality standards: Sesame seeds must adhere to specific requirements for a quality set out by the importing nation before being exported. Make sure your sesame seeds adhere to the importer’s requirements for purity, minimum weight per unit, and moisture content.

Understand export documentation requirements: To export sesame seeds from Nigeria, you must have the required export documentation, which includes a bill of lading, certificate of origin, and phytosanitary certificate. To be sure that your export paperwork is in order, work with a reliable shipping firm or freight forwarder.

Adhere to trade regulations: Each importing nation has its own set of rules that must be followed. Make sure you are familiar with the import country’s trade laws, including the tariffs, taxes, and customs clearing processes.

Conduct due diligence: To prevent any legal problems or fines, it is crucial to do your homework on the importer and the import laws of their nation before exporting sesame seeds.

Building long-term relationships with international sesame seeds buyers

A proactive attitude to communication and a dedication to quality are necessary to forging lasting relationships with foreign purchasers of sesame seeds.

Establishing direct and reliable lines of contact with customers is a crucial first step. This might include providing timely responses to questions and concerns as well as frequent updates on the supply and quality of sesame seeds.

Additionally, it’s critical to establish trust by continuously providing high-quality sesame seeds that satisfy customer requirements. This may include carrying out stringent quality control procedures, such routine testing and inspections.

Showing a readiness to collaborate closely with overseas customers in order to comprehend their requirements and preferences is another strategy for developing long-lasting connections with them. This might include providing specialized packaging and labeling or working together on product creation.

Finally, rather than just concentrating on short-term profits, it is critical to have a long-term perspective and a dedication to establishing enduring partnerships. To establish a solid reputation in the market for sesame seeds throughout the world, this may include making marketing and branding investments.

These actions would help Nigerian sesame seed providers create enduring connections with foreign customers and position themselves as dependable and trustworthy partners in the market.

The future of sesame seed export from Nigeria: Opportunities and challenges 

To contact prospective customers and boost sales, it is crucial for Nigerian sesame seed exporters to have a strong marketing plan in place. You may use the following marketing techniques to advertise your products:

Build a Strong Online Presence:

Having a solid online presence is essential for every organization in the modern digital environment. Create a website, to begin with that features all of your sesame seed items, including their quality, price, and packaging. To increase exposure on search engines, make sure your website is mobile-friendly and search engine-optimized.

Leverage Social Media:

The use of social media networks like LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram to market your goods to prospective customers is very beneficial. Post details about your sesame seeds and images of your goods, and interact with your audience often.

Attend Trade Shows:

A fantastic venue for displaying your sesame seeds to prospective customers is a trade exhibit. Attend pertinent trade exhibitions both domestically and abroad, and make sure your items are clearly displayed. Provide business cards and brochures for prospective customers to take with them.

Participate in Business Matchmaking Programs:

Programs for business matchmaking aim to link exporters with prospective purchasers. Join such events to meet customers and create professional connections that may result in more purchases.

Maintain Quality Standards:

Exporting successfully depends on quality. Achieve HACCP, ISO, and GMP certifications, as well as other international quality requirements, for your sesame seeds. This will increase the trust that purchasers have in your goods and increase your chances of closing a deal.

Nigerian sesame seed exporters may enhance sales and reach more prospective customers by putting these marketing techniques into practice.


In conclusion, farmers and dealers eager to grow their businesses and access new global markets may find success exporting sesame seeds from Nigeria. The potential returns are substantial, even if the procedure may include certain difficulties including quality control, logistics, and adherence to international rules. Nigerian exporters may take advantage of the rising demand for sesame seeds in a variety of global sectors by capitalizing on the nation’s plentiful natural resources, advantageous location, and increasing reputation as a global leader in the agricultural industry. The Nigerian sesame seed sector and its players have a bright future ahead of them with the correct strategy, collaborations, and assistance.

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