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Sesame

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Sesame is a plant that thrives in tropical conditions and is easily adaptable to any environment. Sesame is drought resistant and yields maximum when grown at temperatures of 25 to 27 degree Celsius. Many varieties of the plant are multi-branched and others less branched with the plant gaining a height of 20 to 60 inches. The sesame seeds are derived from the fruit of the plant, one fruit containing 50 to 100 seeds.

In India, sesame is available throughout the year as it is grown both in winter and summer seasons, most of it being cultivated during summer as a kharif crop. The northern part of the country produces its entire sesame yield as khariff crop while the southern part of the country produces the same as both khariff and rabi.

The production of sesame seeds in the world is dominated by a few countries in Africa and Asia. All the major producers of the seed produce a total of around 30 lakh tons annually. China produces the most - approximately 25% of the total world’s production.

India had been producing around 7 lakhs metric tons of sesame seeds annually and stands at 2nd place in terms of production. The country also ranks 1st in the context of the area covered under the cultivation of the crop. The states, Gujarat and West Bengal account for the maximum production in the country producing 2 lakh tons of sesame seeds every year. The major sesame-producing of India are Gujarat, West Bengal, Rajasthan, Tamil Nadu, Orissa, Madhya Pradesh, Andhra Pradesh, Maharashtra, Uttar Pradesh, Punjab and Karnataka.

India produces a wide variety of sesame seeds differing in colors, size, oil content etc. The eastern part of the country generally produces seeds of inferior quality in colors like red and black. But the western part of the country produces a much superior quality sesame seeds mostly white in color.

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