NOTAP HOSTS STAKEHOLDERS ON SESAME SEED DEVELOPMENT IN NIGERIA

The National Office for Technology Acquisition and Promotion (NOTAP) hosted Stakeholders drawn from different sectors of the Nigerian economy on the development of Sesame seed.

Welcoming Stakeholders to the Technical know-How Support and Investment Partnership Meeting on Sesame Seed Value Chain Bye Products and Derivative at the corporate headquarters of NOTAP in Abuja, Acting Director General NOTAP Dr. Dan-Azumi Mohammed Ibrahim said Sesame seed is a very important commodity and is the second largest export earner for Nigeria apart from oil.

He revealed that Nigeria has been exporting the commodity in its raw form without adding value while those who purchase it add a little value to it and make huge fortunes.

Dr Ibrahim said the Office has been in the vanguard of seeking solutions towards adding value to the commodity using technology which is the only means available for adding value to any available raw material to derive the maximum benefit out of it.
He said for over 40 years, Nigeria has been exporting Sesame seed but has not yet reached the level where local technology can be applied to add value stressing that unless Nigeria does that, it will not be able to reap the full value of the commodity.

‘’Technology is a product of knowledge, we have the knowledge infrastructure in the country, Universities, Polytechnics and Research Institutes and it is this National system of Innovation that is expected to drive the economy of the nation. All these technologies we are importing are products of hardwork of other people and we in NOTAP see the huge amount of money Nigeria spends yearly in acquiring these technologies and we feel pained approving technology fees running into millions of dollars. The only way out for us is to come up with deliberate programmes to reduce the level of foreign technology consumption. It is only when we do that, that we can develop’’. He emphasised.

The DG pointed out that there is no nation that has developed by consuming other people’s technologies so it is the responsibility of Nigerians, individually and collectively, to put hands together with all the stakeholders on developing the technology that would add value to the commodity.

He commended the facilitator of the strategic sesame seed project for his continuous belief in the project and called on other stakeholders who are not yet in the team to key into the project.
Facilitator of the Strategic Sesame Seed Project, Ike Willie-Nwobu of Dipton Investment and Trade Ltd., said Sesame seed is one of the two oldest cultivated oil crops known to man, the other being coconut.
He revealed that the commodity is cultivated in 19 northern states of Nigeria and the FCT with potentials in Cross Rivers, Edo and Enugu States and has great domestic and international value.

Mr. Willie-Nwobu added that the efforts to establish integrated sesame seed processing and milling plants in producing states has great potentials to empower local farmers, industrialize participating states, reduce poverty, transfer skills and develop rural communities amongst several other advantages.

He said the choice of NOTAP to host the partnership meeting is as a result of its capacity to harness technical support, data and resources to help states and promoters of the project, coupled with its mandate of technology promotion and transfer.

Stakeholders drawn from relevant sectors of the Nigerian economy at the meeting were highly optimistic of the prospects of the project in positively changing the Nigerian economy.

It is expected that the proposed Integrated Sesame Seed Processing and milling plants in Sesame seed producing parts of Nigeria will be a major export and manufacturing change agent that will position Nigerian Sesame seed into an economic power base using knowledge, experience and exposure for wealth creation.