10-year Import of Sesame Seeds
Sesame which is widely known as Teel in Nepal has significant food and religious importance. Sesame seed is widely used in Nepali kitchens as it is the main components in many types of traditional pickle making. Religious ceremonies are seems incomplete without sesame seed and oils. Sesame has been illustrated as most sanctimonious crop in the Vedic hymn. Sesame seed is also becoming an important ingredient in several types of sweets as well. Besides, the application of sesame oil also extends to cosmetic items, soap and medicines.
Nepal's climate and soil are very suitable for sesame farming. The market of sesame seed is also attractive and has been growing noticeably in the recent years. Looking at the demand trend in the last 10 years, import of sesame oil in Nepal has grown by 35 percent annually. In FY2017/18, the country imported sesame oil amounting to Rs 190 million. India is the largest exporter of sesame oil to Nepal. But Myanmar has emerged as new supplier country in the recent years.
Due attention should be given to sesame farming to harness the potentials.
Nepal's private sectors also need to come forward to invest in sesame farming and production of its oil. The focus of government bodies, particularly the Nepal Agriculture Research Council (NARC), should be on improving the productivity. The agriculture ministry need to formulate effective policies and programmes to address the problems sesame farmers are facing. Besides, the finance ministry should declare sesame sector as tax free. The farmers should be facilitated with subsidies, incentives, technical support, higher customs duty on import and minimum support price of the crop.