Sesame (Sesamum Indicum) is an annual plant part of the Peadliaceae family. It is one of the most ancient oleaginous seeds. It has been grown for over 4000 years, but its cultivation in Burkina Faso only began in the twentieth century.

In Burkina Faso, the Sesame seeds are sown at the beginning of July, during the rainy season. When the plants turn yellow, they are harvested, bundled and dried for a few weeks before separating the seeds. They are then sold by the end of the year.

The queen of oils

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Named the « Queen of oils », Sesame oil has been used since antiquity, from Egypt to India, for its culinary and cosmetic properties. Cosmetic laboratories use it for its nourishing and antioxidant properties; it moisturizes and protects the skin. In the food industry, it ca be used for cooking or for seasoning dishes.

Fair-trade supply chain

Our Sesame supply chain relies on producer organizations specialized in Sesame on one hand, and on the existing local network of OLVEA Burkina Faso on the other hand. Since 2009, OLVEA has been working with producer organizations which were only specialized in Shea kernels harvest and production. Women producing Shea have also been trained to harvest Sesame seeds. Harvesting Sesame has diversified their income and activities, since Shea and Sesame are year-round succeeding crops.

This production chain, which benefits from OLVEA’s local experience, is based on transparent and long-term relationships with producers organizations with whom OLVEA has signed collaboration protocols. These agreements promote a sustainable commercialization, including transparency on market prices as well as training and raising awareness among the producers on agricultural good practices.

farmers' organizations
Sesame seed producers
trained in good agricultural practices

Sesame oil

COSMOS Approved - Cosmecert
Fair for Life

OLVEA produces:

Like for TrueShea™, the traceability of Sesame is guaranteed from the harvested Sesame seeds to the oil.


In order to support the development of this new production chain, OLVEA relies on its long-term partners, ICCO and FMS, as part of a public-private partnership for sustainable entrepreneurship and food safety, cofinanced by OLVEA and RVO (The Netherlands Enterprise Agency).

This partnership ensures year-round work for 35,000 Burkinabe women, provides them with seeds and training, while improving the quality, quantity, and traceability of the productions.

OLVEA Burkina Faso also participates in the project «Innovating for Impact of Sesame in Burkina (IFIS)», an initiative cofinanced by OLVEA and DANIDA (Danish Agency for International Development) which aims to improve the Sesame value chain through the strengthening of the technical capacities of producers and the introduction of technological innovations.

OLVEA - Sesame seed oil producer in Burkina Faso - DANIDA - RVO - UEBT - For Life - Ecocert - ICCO Cooperation - Fair Match Support