Co-financiers: OPEC Fund, KIT, NGO groups in both countries, Governments

CFC Loan: USD 473,025

Co-financing Loan: USD 473,025 (from KIT)

Common Fund financing:

  • USD 1,271,920 (incl USD 750,000 from the OPEC Fund for International Development – OFID)
  • USD 115,000 (Fast Track component)

The project had the overall goal to increase income and alleviate poverty of smallholder sesame farmers in Burkina Faso and Mali through improved production and processing of sesame seed and improvement of their position in the value chain. The project aimed at a sustainable production increase, leading to an average 50% increase in income for the participating farmers. The project effectively started in January 2011.

In total, 5,800 farmers participated in Farmer Field Schools (FFS) in Burkina Faso (30% women) and 6,900 in Mali (39% women) to improve sesame production. Yield increases were realized up to 75%. A manual for sesame FFS has been published and 188 facilitators were trained to conduct a FFS. Collection centres have been established in Burkina Faso (4) and in Mali (13 established/improved). Local commercial sesame storage and processing facilities turned out not to be commercially attractive during the project period, as prices for crude sesame were continuously rising and all sesame could be sold for export as a crude cleaned product with remunerative margins for producers, collectors and exporters. Because of the high demand, prices for conventional sesame were peaking above prices for organic sesame.

Farmer managed trials showed that a modest dose of fertilizer (75 kg NPK 14:23:14 per hectare) increased yields by 75%, providing a return on investment of 320%. The use of quality seed compared to recycled seed gave a return on investment up to 1,900%. The results obtained in Mali are presented by IFDC in a French brochure, see link. The lessons learned from sesame chain development in both Mali and Burkina Faso are presented in the Final Technical Report, which is available in the English and the French language.

For more information: Peter Gildemacher, Royal Tropical Institute (KIT), Amsterdam. Email:

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