China plans to import 5,000 tons of sesame from Pakistan this year: Xi Jianlog

Feb 25, 2024

China will increase investment in the Pak-China contract farming sesame project and has the plan to import at least 5,000 tons of sesame from Pakistan this year, Project Manager, Xi Jianlong said.

“In 2023, we imported 400 tons of sesame from Pakistan to China, and this year, we plan to import at least 5,000 tons of sesame,” he said in an interview.

At the end of 2023, the first batch of sesame from the project was shipped to China, signalling a promising year for sesame exports.

Sesame, a traditional crop in Pakistan, has faced challenges such as low market demand and limited cultivation scale.

Recognizing China’s increasing demand for sesame, the Sino-Pak Agricultural Cooperation and Exchange Center, led by China Machinery Engineering Corporation (CMEC), collaborated with Pakistani farmers to establish contract farming initiatives.

China’s sesame import volume has remained stable at approximately 1 million tons over the past three years. Pakistan’s sesame holds the advantage of being among the first to enter the market in the northern hemisphere every year, and its proximity to China ensures a short shipping time of only ten to fifteen days by sea, said Xi Jianlong.

The project was started in 2022. After two years of trials, the centre has made significant progress in seed selection and industrial models. In 2023, the cultivation area surpassed 600 acres, indicating promising potential for sesame production.

When I surveyed Pakistan in 2018, the sesame cultivation area was only 200,000 acres. By 2023, it had increased to 1 million acres, highlighted Xi Jianlong, emphasizing the impressive growth in sesame cultivation in Pakistan.

We also provide support in terms of cultivation resources and technical training for local farmers, and their yield per acre has almost doubled compared to 2018.
To further enhance efficiency in sesame production, the centre plans to introduce advanced sesame harvesting machinery and sorting equipment from China.

Xi Jianlong stated, We are currently exploring collaborations with agricultural machinery companies and plan to introduce combined harvesting and sowing machines, along with drone-assisted pesticide spraying, to facilitate farm management in Pakistan.