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Soil and climatic conditions of Sesamum

Soil and climatic conditions of Sesamum

The grains of sesamum (Sesamum indicum) found in excavation of Harappa of the Indus Valley civilization suggest that sesamum was grown as early as 3600 to 1750 B.C. in India. It is known as 'til' and is one of the important edible oilseeds cultivated in India. Sesamum is grown in 53 countries of the world in regions from 40oN to 40oS latitude. Asia contributes 68% in sesamum growing area of the world. The major sesamum growing countries in Asia are India, China, Burma and to a lesser extent Afghanistan, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Indonesia and Srilanka. The major sesamum growing states in India are Uttar Pradesh, Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, Tamil Nadu, Maharashtra, Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka and Gujarat. It is grown to extract edible oil used in cooking, salad and manufacturing of marginarine. Its oil forms the basis of most of the fragrant and scented oils and perfumes. Sesamum cake is used as feed for farm animals.

Climatic conditions

Sesamum is grown in three seasons namely, kharif, semi-rabi and summer. It is grown in tropical and subtropical areas up to an elevation of about 1200 metres. It is mostly cultivated under rainfed conditions. It is basically a crop of the warmer climate, though its cultivation extends also to cooler climate as available in the Himalayas up to 1500 m altitude. The plants grow luxuriantly in temperature range from 24-32°C. It requires 40-45 days to flower with 10 hours light day. Thus it is a short day plant. It is fairly drought resistant crop.

Soil properties

Sesamum is grown mostly in sandy loam soils which are shallow or medium in depth. It is tolerant to salinity and can be grown in soils with salt concentration up to 10,000 ppm. The pH range 5.5 to 8.2 is suitable for its growth.

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Please note that this is the opinion of the author and is Not Certified by ICAR or any of its authorised agents.