…Says its export generates huge revenue for Nigeria
By Muhammad Hamisu Abdullahi
A sensitization workshop on entrepreneurial development/value addition of sesame and utilization/health benefits of ginger has been held in the ancient city of Kano.
During the event, the Director of the Federal Department of Agriculture, Mrs. Karima I. Babangida, used the opportunity to draw attention of the participants on the benefits of such agricultural products.
Mrs. Babangida expressed delight with the event, which she said gave her a lot of pleasure.
She noted that ginger and sesame crops are grown for exports and domestic use.
According to her, the nation’s ginger is one of the best in the world and has high value in pharmaceutical and confectionary industries with an annual production of almost 523 metric tons, which accounts for 14 per cent share of its total global production.
“Furthermore, around 90 per cent of our production is exported and over 42.5 million dollars is generated as foreign exchange earnings annually. This is projected to keep growing at six per cent per annum,” said her.
Mrs. Babangida explained that the country’s sesame holds value for exports and is currently in hot demands throughout the world.
She said the total value of sesame export in the first quarter of 2018 was N26.6 billion.
She added: “It is on record that 80 per cent of sesame produced annually is exported outside the country. It is worthy of note that sesame can be used in pharmaceuticals, confectionaries, cosmetics and many industries for paints, soaps, lubricants, and shampoos, among others.”
The director stated further: “For this reason, the figure recorded in 2018 could rise to over one billion USD with value addition.”
“Permit me to say today’s engagement with stakeholders from the two key crop value chains is timely and crucial in our collective efforts toward achieving self-sufficiency in the production and utilization of these commodities, as well as eliminating hunger and creating wealth by constructively engaging our teeming population with gainful economic activities,” she narrated.
The director told the gathering that the workshop intended to sensitize the participants on the many benefits of ginger, saying: “Since the onset of COVID-19, people have shifted to healthier and nutritional option to support their immune system.”
According to her, ginger has anti-inflammatory properties that help in removing toxins from the respiratory tracts, as it contains many vitamins and minerals.
She similarly said the workshop on sesame would focus on entrepreneurial capacity, value addition and attractive packaging of its products, with a view of taking the numerous advantages in the value chain to create jobs for the teeming population of the country, particularly as the nation strives to regain her economy as a result of the ravaging COVID 19 pandemic.
She thanked all stakeholders and other participants at the event, reiterating that conclusions at the workshops would be studied and synchronized into the ministry’s work plan for the year 2021. “Let me assure you that we will continue to ensure that the impact of government is felt by the downtrodden in our society.
“At this junction, let me seize this auspicious moment to charge you to be audacious in your deliberations so as to produce the best outcomes and I assure you that we have explicit confidence in the capacities, abilities and commitment of our facilitators,” she stated.