The SESAME Project increased the quality and volume of sesame exports in the regions of Boucle du Mouhoun, Est, Cascade and Hauts Bassins in Burkina Faso. In collaboration with local partners Afrique Verte and Nitidae, LWR trained smallholder farmers in the best climate-smart practices in sesame production, post-harvest handling and storage.
Through the project, farmers also increased their business skills, access to financial services, particularly credit, and connection with buyers. Lutheran World Relief employed a Producer Enterprise Agent (PEA) model, in which PEAs provided production, post-harvest handling and processing training to cooperative and union members. Around 72,712 individuals now use new techniques and technologies on 180,668 hectares, resulting in increased sesame yields up to 350 kg/ha (from 235 kg/ha women; 241 kg/ha men) on average land sizes of 1.6 ha/person. Lutheran World Relief also hosted pre-marketing workshops, bringing together 77 sesame industry representatives to ensure the quality of sesame sold internationally. Through this arrangement, 54 pre-season contracts (total of 25,000 metric tons; valued at $25 million) were signed.