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  • Sesame Recognized as an Alternative to Safrinha Corn in Brazil

    May 6th, 2024

    Farmers in central Brazil are discovering sesame as an alternative to safrinha corn for their second crop following soybeans. Sesame is more resistant than safrinha corn to high temperatures and dry conditions and there is a strong demand and profitable prices for sesame.Mato Grosso is the largest sesame producing state in Brazil with most of the production centered in the municipality of Canarana in the Araguaia region of eastern Mato Grosso. According to the latest report from Conab, sesame production in Mato Grosso in 2023/24 is estimated at 186,700 tons, which is approximately double the 90,700 tons produced in 2022/23. Sesame acreage in Mato Grosso in 2023/24 is estimated at 381,900 hectares or up 105.9% from the 185,500 hectares in 2023/24. As a comparison, the safrinha corn acreage in Mato Grosso in 2023/24 is estimated at 6.63 million hectares or 17 times more than sesame. Sesame is one of the crops being promoted by the Secretary of Agriculture for the state of Mato Grosso (Sedec) in their Rural Development Program (Poder) that strives to diversify crop production in the state, especially as a second crop following soybeans. Currently, crop production in the state is dominated by soybean, corn, and cotton production, but recent increased insect and disease pressures illustrated the need for a more diverse crop mixture. The state of Mato Grosso is investing in irrigation technology to increase the diversity of crop production during the dry season between May and September when temperatures are suitable for crop production, but rainfall is absent. The Sectary of Agriculture for the state is investing R$ 7.5 million in the Institution for Irrigated Production of Beans, Pulses, and Specialty Grains in Mato Grosso (Imafir).Imafir is conducting research in coordination with the Federal University of Vicosa, the University of Nebraska, and the Federal Institute for Science and Technology Education in Mato Grosso (IFMT) to expand the potential for irrigated agriculture in Mato Grosso.