Sesame cultivation practices in Assam


Sesame a species of the family Pedaliaceae is found distributed in Africa, India, South-east Asia and Australia. It is a valued oil crop and is mainly cultivated in the tropics.India and China are the world’s principal producers. Sesame oil, otherwise also referred to as gingelly oil, is one of the major sources of edible oil in India and is culturally associate with the Vedic period. The Sanskrit word for oil, taila is derived from the Sanskrit word for sesame tila.

Scientific Name– Sesamum indicum.

Varieties of Sesame

Varieties Duration when sown in the 1st fortnight of  August (days) Yield
Seed  colour
SP 1181(Madhavi) 70-75 8-9 Brown
Gouri 75-80 7-8 -do-
Vinayak 75-80 8-9 -do-
ST 1683 90-95 5-9 -do-
Punjab Tall No. 1 75-85 8-9 White

All the varieties are susceptible to phytophthora blight and bacterial wilt to varying degrees. However, Punjab Tall No. 1 is less susceptible to both the diseases.

A second crop, e.g. mustard is possible after sesamum if quick maturing varieties, viz., SP 1181 (Madhavi), Gouri and Vinayak are grown.


Soil requirement for growing sesame

WWell-drainedsandy loam soils are preferable.


Land preparation for sesame

Land should be prepared to a fine tilth by 3-4 ploughings followed by laddering.


Time of Sowing

July to first fortnight of August for Phytophthora blight endemic areas.



  • 30 cm between rows
  • 15 cm between plants


Seed Rate

  • 4 kg/ha for both broadcasting and line sowing.


Manures and Fertilizers for Sesame

Compost or FYM should be applied @ 10 t/ha. Fertilizer requirements are as follows:

Nutrient Requirement  (kg/ha) Form Fertilizer requirement

 kg/ha            kg/bigha

N 30 Urea 65 9
P2O5 20 SSP 125 19
K2O 20 MOP 33 5

Apply the whole quantity of fertilizer at the time of sowing.


Weeding and Interculture

One weeding should be done at 20 days after sowing by khurpi or hoe. The crop should be thinned out simultaneously to maintain the required spacing within the rows.


Plant Protection in Sesame crop

Seeds should be treated with carbendazim or captan @ 2g of each fungicide/kg of seed against stem rot as well as Phytophthora blight. Alternatively, seeds should be treated with a commercial formulation of Trichoderma spp. @ 5 g/kg of seeds against stem rot and phytopthora blight.

In phytophthora blight endemic areas, Sesamum is to be rotated with cereals at every two years. In the case of phyllody disease, the infected plants should be rouged out.

when the attack of shoot Webber (Conogethes catalaunalis) spray dichlorvos 100 EC @ 0.5 ml/lit or monocrotophos 40 EC @ 1 ml/lit.


Sesame harvesting

The crop should be harvested when the leaves and stems turn yellow, and defoliation starts or one or two capsules at the bottom start cracking from the tip.


Sesame yield per acre

6-8 q/ha.



  • Assam Agriculture University.
  • M S Swaminathan Research Foundation.
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