Sesame Seed Production Guide

sesame seedsSesame (Tilseed, Cameline, German sesame, benniseed, dodder, linga)

Sesame (linga) oil is used, not only for cooking food, but also for the manufacture of other things, such as margarine, soap, cosmetics, perfume, insecticides, pain and medicine. What is left after the extraction of its oil is excellent for feed for poultry, hogs, goats, rabbits. Its protein content is 22%, besides other substances.

There are many kinds of sesame. The following varieties yield good harvest and abundant oil: Sri Lanka Black, Japanese Black, and Iligan Marinduque Black, which are native to us. The white varieties that similarly yield good harvest and abundant oil which are used for special cuisine, are: the Japanese White, Guatemala White, Mexican White and our own native white variety. These are resistant to pests and diseases.

Sesame grows in warm weather. This will not thrive in temperature as low as 21°C. It can withstand dry weather, but also needs watering as it grows.

Because sesame seeds are very tiny, it seeds should be planted shallow in soil, free from weeds, does not retain water, and 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.

Mix the seeds with sand, and plant 5-10 seeds in a hole about 10-15 cm apart if it is branch-bearing, and only 8-12 cm if it is not branch bearing. In one hectare of land, 4-6 kilos of seeds can be accommodated.

Irrigation is necessary in planting, but only once or twice after planting when it is growing. It needs watering before flowering and before fruit bearing. The seeds germinate 5-7 days after sowing.

Two weeks after germination, remove some leaves and branches and transplant the plant. Leave only two strong plants in every hill.

After 3-4 weeks when the plants are sturdy, loosen the soil (culture). Culture again when the plant is 30 cm high. Always remove the weeds because this will diminish the capacity for fruit bearing.

Apply fertilizer.

Sesame does not like humid and rainy place. In rainy season, it is vulnerable to disease, so choose only varieties that are resistant.

Don’t plant sesame repeatedly in the same area after harvest, so as to avoid disease or pest.

Don’t use insecticide containing sulfur because this is not good for sesame.


1. The sesame plant flourishes from 85-150 days. Harvest when flowering stops, and the leaves turn yellow and fall off.
2. The pods burst out when these are ripe, so the seeds will scatter. Cut off the pods when still green and bunch them.
3. Spread the branches on a mat and thick cloth and put these under the sun.
4. When dried, beat the branches to bring out the seeds. Clean off the stones and dirt, and branches.
5. Dry the seeds before storing. If they are for planting, apply chemical on the seeds to keep pests away.

Source: Tekno-tulong, Greenfields Feb. 1989

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