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Crops » Oil Seeds » Sesame


Sesame (Sesamum indicum) is a flowering plant in the genus , also called benne. Numerous wild relatives occur in Africa and a smaller number in India. It is widely naturalized in tropical regions around the world and is cultivated for its edible seeds, which grow in pods or "buns".

Sesame seed is one of the oldest oilseed crops known, domesticated well over 3000 years ago. Sesamum has many other species, most being wild and native to sub-Saharan Africa. Sesamum indicum, the cultivated type, originated in India and is tolerant to drought-like conditions, growing where other crops fail.

Sesame has one of the highest oil contents of any seed. With a rich, nutty flavor, it is a common ingredient in cuisines across the world. Like other nuts and foods, it can trigger allergic reactions in some people.

Sesame (Sesamum indicum) grows in well drained, sandy loam soils. Coarse sandy soils and soils of alkaline and saline nature are not suited for the crop.


For upland cultivation use varieties with long duration of 100-110 days and for low land, use varieties with duration of 80-99 days.


Suitable for lowlands of Onattukara


Suitable for rice fallows in Onattukara, resistant to leaf spot disease.

ACV-1 (Soma)

Pure line selection for summer fallows of Onattukara

ACV-2 (Surya)

Pure line selection suited for uplands

ACV-3 (Thilak)

Pure line selection suited to summer fallows of Onattukara

Thilathara (CST 785 x B14)

Suitable for the summer rice fallows of Onattukara, oil 51.5%, duration 78 days.


Suited to uplands of Onattukara (rabi season), oil 50.5%


Suited to summer rice fallows of Onattukara


Lowland paddy field : Dec- April (third crop)
Uplands : Aug- Dec

Planting materials

Seeds are the planting material. Seed rate is 4-5 kg/ha. Broadcast seeds evenly, preferably mixed with sand 2-3 times its volume, to ensure uniform coverage.

Method of planting

Prepare the soil into a fine tilth by ploughing 2-4 times and breaking the clods. Seeds are the planting material. Seed rate is 4-5 kg/ha. Broadcast seeds evenly, preferably mixed with sand 2-3 times its volume, to ensure uniform coverage. Work with harrow, followed by pressing with wooden plank so as to cover the seed in the soil.


30:15:30 കിലോഗ്രാം നൈട്രോജെന്‍, ഫോസ്ഫറസ്, പൊട്ടാസ്യം എന്നിങ്ങനെയാണ് എള്ളിന് ഒരു ഹെക്റ്റ റിലേക്ക് ശുപാര്‍ശ ചെയ്യപ്പെടുന്ന വളപ്രയോഗം. ഇതിനായി ഒരു സെന്ററിലേക്ക് നല്‍കേണ്ടത് 260 ഗ്രാം യൂറിയ, 333 ഗ്രാം മസൂരിഫോസ്, 200 ഗ്രാം പൊട്ടാഷ് എന്നീ നേര്‍വളങ്ങളാണ്. മുഴുവന്‍ ഫോസ്ഫറസും, പൊട്ടാഷും, 195 ഗ്രാം യൂറിയയും നടുന്ന സമയത്ത് നല്‍കുക. വിതച്ച് 20-35 ദിവസത്തിനുശേഷം ബാക്കിയുള്ള യൂറിയ ഇലകളില്‍ തളിച്ച് കൊടുക്കുക. ഇതിന് 3% വീര്യമുള്ള യൂറിയ ലായനി ഉപയോഗിക്കാം. ഇതിനായി ഒരു സെന്റ്റിലേക്ക് 65 ഗ്രാം യൂറിയ വേണ്ടി വരുന്നു. അമ്ലഗുണമുള്ള മണ്ണില്‍ വളങ്ങള്‍ നല്‍കുന്നതിനു രണ്ടാഴ്ചയ്ക്ക് മുന്നേ 1 – 3 കിലോ കുമ്മായമോ/ ഡോളോമൈറ്റോ ചേര്‍ക്കുക. സെന്ററിനു 20 കിലോ എന്ന തോതില്‍ കാലിവളം/കമ്പോസ്റ്റ്‌ അവസാനത്തെ ഉഴവോടെ അടിവളമായും രാസവളങ്ങള്‍ മണ്ണില്‍ ഈര്‍പ്പമുള്ളപ്പോഴും ചേര്‍ക്കണം.


Usually the crop is grown under rainfed conditions. When facilities are available, the crop may be irrigated to field capacity after thinning operation and thereafter at 15-20 days interval. Stop irrigation just before the pods begin to mature.

Surface irrigation at 3cm depth during the critical stages, viz: 4-5 eaves, branching, flowering and pod formation will increase the yield by 35-52%. Two irrigation of 3cm depth each in the vegetative phase (branching) and in reproductive phase (at flowering or pod formation) are the best, registering maximum yield and water use efficiency. In the case of single irrigation, it can be best given in the reproductive phase. In the tail end fields in command area, the best use of sparingly available water can be made for augmenting sesame production.


Harvest the crop, when the capsule turns yellowish by pulling out the plants. Harvest during the morning hours. Cut the root portion and stack the plants in bundles for 3-4 days when the leaves will fall off. Spread in the sun and beat with sticks to break open the capsules. Repeat this for 3 days. Preserve seeds collected during the first day fo seed purposes. Clean and dry in sun for about 7 days before storing.

Intercultivation practices

After cultivation of the crop may be done twice, first at 15 days and the next 25- 35 DAS. When the plants are about 15cm in height, thin the crop so as to give a spacing of 15-25 cm between plants.

Value added products

Derived from sesame sesame oil is commonly used as a food ingredient and condiment, as well as for medicinal uses.Sesame oil has been used for centuries in Asian cuisine. It also has medicinal purposes, especially in Ayurvedic medicine, where it is used as a base oil for about 90 percent of the herbal oils.

In Ayurvedic therapy, sesame oil is renowned for its ability to strengthen and detoxify the body and ensure the proper functioning of all the vital organs. It's also used in sacred and religious ceremonies. Today, sesame oil is a common component of skin and massage oils, hair care products, cosmetics, soaps, perfumes and sunscreens. Sesame oil has great moisturizing, soothing and emollient qualities.

In aromatherapy, it is popularly used as a massage oil and a carrier oil for essential oils. Here are other uses for sesame oil:

Skin moisturizer. Apply it to your skin to keep it soft and smooth and help prevent wrinkles from forming. You can also add it to your bath water to help treat cracked heels and dry knees and elbows. Sesame oil also assists in soothing burns and helps prevent skin-related disorders.

Helps remove toxins from your mouth. It is traditionally recommended for oil pulling. (However, I prefer using coconut oil for this because it tastes better.)

Natural sunscreen. Apply the oil all over your face and body. You may need to reapply it, though, as the oil is easily removed, especially after heavily perspiring or jumping into water.

Skin detoxifier. Oil-soluble toxins are said to be attracted to sesame seed oil molecules. Apply sesame oil on your skin, leave it for 15 minutes and then wash it off with warm water.

Boosts your scalp and hair health. Massage the oil into your scalp and hair to keep your locks strong and shiny. It also effectively helps relieve dry scalp, dandruff and hair loss.

Composition of Sesame Oil

Sesame oil contains high levels of natural antioxidants called sesamol, sesamolin and sesamin oils. Sesamin is a lignin with anti-inflammatory properties, and contains vitamin E, which helps keep your skin strong and supple.

Meanwhile, sesamol possesses over two dozen beneficial pharmacologically active properties, most of which work to improve cardiovascular health. Sesame oil contains 15 percent saturated fat, 42 percent oleic acid and 43 percent omega-6 linoleic acid, with a composition similar to peanut oil. It is also loaded with B-complex vitamins, including thiamin, riboflavin, niacin, pantothenic acid, pyridoxine and folic acid.

It's rich in amino acids that are essential in building up proteins, and minerals like iron, copper, calcium, manganese, magnesium, selenium, phosphorus and zinc

Other information

Storage of seeds

By keeping sesame seeds in polybags, tin bins, wooden receptacles or in earthen pots, the viability can be maintained for about one year. Admixture of seeds with ash will drastically reduce germination.