Open sesame: Women are seeding change in Honduras with this tiny seed

September 29, 2019

Women farmers in Honduras just launched a new microenterprise specializing in all things sesame!

Farmers of all ages are involved in the microenterprise. Here, sisters Delmi and Odalis Vasquez show the press they will use to produce sesame oil. (Photo: Darwin Carranza/FIPAH)

Women farmers in Honduras just launched a new microenterprise specializing in all things sesame! It’s an exciting project for which Doña Clementina, president of the women’s co-op called Mujeres Alianza Fronteriza, and all the women involved have been preparing for the past year.

From planting and harvesting the organic sesame, to pressing it for oil and making protein bars, these women will be in charge of the whole process. So for the past twelve months they’ve been training in organic sesame production, doing research into sesame varieties, and putting together their inclusive, farmer-led business.

Here, Doña Clementina (right) explains a bit about how sesame grows to Hanif Pabani (left) from Global Affairs Canada. (Photo: FIPAH)

The women who farm the sesame will also be the ones producing and marketing the items like sesame oil and sesame protein bars. And they’ll be selling it all locally.

This benefits the community in so many ways. Women farmers get to make a better income from selling the sesame products, AND all that sesame nutrition stays in the community. Plus, sesame is a crop that can grow well even in dry conditions. As the region’s climate changes and rains are less and less predictable, it’s a good crop to make use of.

Here, some of the members of the microenterprise (and their families) stand in a sesame field in Agua Zarca, Intibucá. (Photo: FIPAH)

It’s also a no waste operation: once they press the sesame to make the oil, they’ll use the protein rich byproducts to make the nutritious snack bars.

Farmers, researchers and entrepreneurs: this group of women are doing it all! Congrats to Doña Clementina and all the farmers involved! We couldn’t be prouder to support them with our partner organization, FIPAH, with ongoing support from Global Affairs Canada.