Tuesday, February 27Food Security Matters

Sesame Seeds Farming in the Philippines: How to Plant and Grow Linga

Sesame seeds farming has been declared profitable by the Department of Agriculture so if you are here to find out how to grow this crop, keep reading.

Sesame seeds, also known as linga in the Philippines, are a staple ingredient in many dishes around the world. Not only do they add flavor and texture to meals, but they are also packed with nutrients such as calcium, iron, and magnesium. With sustainable agriculture becoming more important than ever before, sesame seeds farming is a viable option for Filipino farmers looking to grow their businesses while contributing to a better future for our planet. In this post, we’ll dive into all things sesame seed farming in the Philippines – from land preparation to pest management and beyond. Get ready to discover how you can start growing this superfood on your farm!

sesame seeds farming
Flowering sesame plant

The Importance of Sesame Seeds in the Philippines

Sesame seeds have been an integral part of Filipino cuisine for centuries, adding a unique flavor and texture to many dishes. They are commonly used in traditional recipes such as kare-kare, which features a peanut and sesame sauce, and the popular snack food binatog.

Beyond their delicious taste, sesame seeds are also incredibly nutritious. They contain high levels of protein, healthy fats, and essential minerals like calcium and iron. This makes them an important ingredient for those looking to maintain a balanced diet.

In addition to their culinary uses, sesame seeds have also been used medicinally in the Philippines for generations. Traditional healers believe that they can help alleviate symptoms of conditions such as arthritis and asthma.

Perhaps most importantly, growing sesame seeds provides economic opportunities for farmers throughout the Philippines. With sustainable agriculture practices becoming increasingly important worldwide, there has never been a better time to invest in this versatile crop.

Current Status of Sesame Seeds Industry in the Philippines

The Philippines is among the countries that produce sesame seeds, locally known as “Linga.” According to the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA), in 2019, there was a decline in sesame seed production by 6.3% compared to its output in 2018. The total harvested area of sesame during this period was only 1,040 hectares with an average yield of about one ton per hectare.

The demand for Sesame seeds in the local and international markets remains high despite this decrease. Based on data from PSA, Japan imports most of the country’s supply followed by Taiwan and China. There has also been a growing trend towards using organic products such as organically-grown sesame seeds which are produced through sustainable agriculture methods.

However, challenges still exist within the industry such as low productivity due to inadequate planting materials and lack of proper irrigation systems. Providing farmers with better access to technology and training programs can help improve their yields while also implementing sustainable farming practices.

There is potential for growth in the Sesame Seed Industry in the Philippines if given sufficient support.

Sesame Seeds Farming

Sesame seeds farming requires careful planning and execution to ensure a successful harvest. The first step is land preparation, which involves clearing the area of weeds and debris. It’s important to choose a flat or slightly sloping terrain with good soil drainage.

Planting should be done during the rainy season when there is enough moisture for seed germination. Seeds should be sown at a depth of 1-2 cm and spaced 20-30 cm apart depending on the variety. Sesame plants thrive in warm temperatures, ideally between 25-30 degrees Celsius.

Culture involves keeping the soil moist but not waterlogged during germination. Once established, sesame plants are drought-tolerant so watering can be reduced.

Weeding is crucial as sesame plants do not compete well with other vegetation. Hand weeding or using herbicides may be necessary depending on the size of the farm.

Fertilization should be done before planting or during early growth stages using organic fertilizers like chicken manure or compost.

Pest management includes regular monitoring for pests such as aphids, whiteflies, and stink bugs that may damage crops. Natural pest control methods like companion planting can reduce pest infestation without resorting to chemical treatments.

Harvesting begins when most capsules have turned brown, usually around 100 days after planting. Capsules are collected by handpicking or cutting stems close to ground level then threshed and dried before milling into sesame oil or other products.

Sesame Seeds Production

After harvesting, the next step in sesame seed farming is milling. Milling involves removing the outer hull of the seed to reveal its nutritious inner core. The traditional method of milling sesame seeds involves manual labor, which can be time-consuming and physically demanding.

However, advancements in technology have made it possible for farmers to use electric or diesel-powered mills that simplify this process. These modern mills are capable of processing large quantities of sesame seeds in a shorter amount of time with minimal labor input.

Once milled, the sesame seed can be used for various purposes such as cooking oil production, food additives, cosmetics products, and even medicines. In fact, studies have shown that consuming sesame seeds regularly has numerous health benefits such as reducing blood pressure levels and improving heart health.

In addition to producing these valuable end-products from milled sesame seed cores, sustainable agriculture practices should also be implemented throughout the entire production process – from planting to harvesting -to ensure long-term environmental protection while maintaining high-quality yields.

Sesame Seeds Productivity and Yield Per Hectare

The productivity and yield of sesame seeds per hectare depend on various factors such as soil type, climate conditions, planting method, and management practices.

On average, sesame seeds produce around 300 kg to 600 kg per hectare in the Philippines. However, with proper care and management techniques such as timely weeding, fertilization, and irrigation methods along with pest control measures farmers can increase their yields significantly.

Moreover, selecting high-yielding varieties is also an important factor contributing to higher sesame seed productivity. Farmers should choose varieties that are adaptable to local weather conditions for optimum growth.

Other factors affecting sesame seed yield include disease resistance levels of plants against harmful pathogens like Fusarium wilt disease which can lead to a significant decline in crop production if not managed properly.

Sesame seed farming requires careful planning coupled with appropriate land preparation before planting. With correct cultural practices coupled with sustainable agriculture efforts by Filipino farmers, there is potential for increased productivity which will ultimately boost crop yields per hectare thereby improving food security while setting a foundation for economic development through exportation of these products.

Sesame seeds
Sesame seeds

Sesame Seeds Farming Challenges

One of the biggest issues faced by farmers is finding high-quality seeds for planting. Many farmers resort to using low-quality, untreated sesame seeds which can lead to poor yields and disease outbreaks.

Another challenge is related to pest management. Sesame plants are susceptible to damage from insects such as aphids, whiteflies, and thrips. Farmers need to implement effective pest control measures such as crop rotation and natural predators like ladybugs or lacewings.

Weeding also poses a significant challenge in sesame seed farming due to weeds that grow very fast during the first few weeks after planting. The traditional weeding method involves manual labor which can be time-consuming and cost-intensive.

Fertilization is another challenge in sesame seed farming because it requires adequate soil nutrients throughout the growing season but excessive use of fertilizers can have adverse effects on both yield and quality of crops.

Water scarcity is yet another obstacle that affects sesame farming in some areas where rainfall patterns are unpredictable or scarce, leading many farmers to either be unable to irrigate their crops or have insufficient water resources for irrigation purposes.

Despite these challenges, sustainable agriculture practices like crop rotation, intercropping with legumes or cereals, and applying organic fertilizers instead of synthetic ones along with integrated pest management strategies could help alleviate some obstacles faced by Philippines’ farmers when cultivating linga (sesame).

Questions Related to Sesame Seeds Farming

How long does it take to grow sesame seeds?

Physiological maturity (PM) normally occurs 95-110 days after planting. PM is when 75% of the capsules on the main stem have mature seeds. The plant is very leafy but will defoliate at maturity. Sesame normally dries down in 120-150 days.

Where do sesame seeds grow best?

Sesame is tolerant of difficult soil and conditions, but the highest yields result from fertile, well-drained soil and adequate sunlight. I grew sesame in my raised beds with a raised bed mix from Arizona Worm Farm, and the sesame thrived. Sunlight: Sesame needs at least six hours of sun to grow well.

Are sesame seeds easy to grow?

For the home gardener, this can be a fun plant to grow for the seeds and cooking. You can grow sesame seeds easily too, as long as you have the right climate for it. Sesame plants thrive in hot, dry weather. It is not hardy at all and will slow its growth or even stop growing at temperatures below 68 and 50 degrees F.

What is the lifespan of sesame?

A typical bag of sesame seeds comes with a shelf life of about a year from the packaging date. That means you’re getting about 15 to 18 months of good quality at ambient temperature.

Which fertilizer is best for sesame?

Sesame does not require much fertilizer except where the soil is very poor. The recommended rate of 50 kg N / ha + 60 kg P₂O₅ /ha + 35 K₂O kg/ha is required. Therefore, 3 bags of NPK fertilizer (15:15:15) should be applied at planting and 2 bags of Urea should be applied at the juvenile stage.

Is sesame seed a cash crop?

According to some farmers, sesame is a cash crop capable of generating huge income because the selling price is high, and the production costs are relatively low. Sesame is produced on an average area of 1.46 hectares, with the largest sesame production area being 08 hectares.

How many sesame seeds does a plant produce?

The seeds produced are tiny, but one seedpod can produce hundreds of seeds. The plants grow up to three feet tall. The seeds vary in color depending on the variety and may be white, brown, red, or buff colored.

How do you grow sesame seeds in the Philippines?

Because sesame seeds are very tiny, it seeds should be planted shallowly in soil, free from weeds, do not retain water, and are fertile. The distance of the plants from one another should be one-half meter apart if the variety does not bear branches, and 70-80 cm apart if it bears branches.

Can you eat sesame leaves?

Another way to enjoy the health benefits of sesame is to include sesame leaves in your diet. Sesame leaves are a staple green vegetable in the traditional Korean diet and are valued for their mineral density and strong aroma. They are as aromatic as herbs like basil and mint but have a unique, nutty fragrance.

What is the spacing of the sesame crop?

The recommended spacing for sesame is 45-60 cm x 10-15 cm for the Kharif season crop. Due to higher temperatures in summer, the growth and duration of sesame are comparatively less than the Kharif crop, which tends to have closer spacing.

Conclusion

Sesame seed farming in the Philippines has a lot of potential for growth and development. With proper knowledge, skills, and techniques on land preparation, planting culture, fertilization, pest management, harvesting, and production milling among others – it is possible to achieve high productivity for this crop.

Moreover, sustainable agricultural practices such as reducing chemical usage and conserving natural resources through efficient water use systems can make a significant impact on both environment conservation efforts and the profitability of local farmers.

While sesame seeds may pose challenges such as unpredictable weather conditions or pest outbreaks- these can be mitigated by employing best practices in crop management.

Promoting Linga (sesame) cultivation in the country will not only provide health benefits from its nutritious values but also open opportunities for economic empowerment, especially in rural communities where agriculture remains a primary source of livelihood.

The possibilities are endless when it comes to sesame seed farming – if given enough attention and priority by government agencies that can invest more into research programs that aim to improve yield per hectare through better technological innovations while ensuring environmental sustainability practices that contribute positively towards food security goals.

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