Sesame is commonly known as "Till". Its botanical name is Sesamum indicum L. It is one of the earliest domesticated plants. It is a short duration crop grown throughout the year. The seeds of the plant yield edible oil. Due to the presence of potent antioxidant, sesame seeds are known as "the seed of immortality". Two distinct types of seed are recognized, the white and the black. There are also intermediate colored varieties varying from red to rose or from brown or grey.
India ranks first in the area, however, as per 2006 data it comes after China in production of sesame seeds in the world. During the year 2007 however, India leads world in sesame production. India's contribution to the production of sesame seeds in the world is 18.8% in 2006-07. Other major sesame producing countries are China (19.9%), Myanmar (17.3%), Sudan (5.9%), Uganda (4.9%), Nigeria (2.9%), Pakistan (0.8%), Ethiopia (4.7%) and Bangladesh (1.4%). The productivity of sesame in India is 0.33 tons/ha compared to world average of 0.44 tons/ha in the year 2006-07.
World Production of Sesame