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Postcard from Tanzania: sesame oil body gel enriching villagers

31 July 2013

Postcard from Tanzania: sesame oil body gel enriching villagers

Photo: Erri villagers proudly displaying their sesame oil body gel

By Goodness Mrema, Farm Africa’s Communications Officer in Tanzania

On a recent field visit to Mbugwe division, I discovered how Farm Africa training, together with the creativity and innovation of sesame farmers themselves, is adding value to their sesame crops.

Erri village is one among 23 villages in Mbugwe participating in Farm Africa’s sesame marketing project, with a total of 40 Sesame farmers in the village benefitting from the project. As part of their training, the farmers are encouraged to find ways of adding value to their sesame harvest. This means turning it into products such as sweets and extract oil, which sells for more than raw sesame alone.

An enriching and moisturising body gel

After a recent training session in Erri, one group member come up with the innovative idea of producing a skin enriching and moisturising body gel using sesame oil. All farmers agreed this was an excellent idea, and set about organising a collective body gel making session - getting together all the necessary materials including firewood, a cooking pot, a match box, candles and sesame oil.

The session was successful, producing a rich body gel to the delight of young and old villagers alike.

sesame oil body gel packaged for sale

Photo: sesame oil body gel packaged for sale

“We are glad for our innovation because this will be a successful project and it will help us use more of our sesame rather than selling it as a raw material. I believe that the whole community will benefit from this directly” said one of the farmers.

And now they have mastered producing body lotion, the farmers are next going to have a go at producing bars of soap using sesame oil. I am sure this will prove equally successful.

More about our sesame marketing project

More about our work in Tanzania