Sesame Seed Harvesting

Region: South Sudan, Africa

The Challenge

After decades of civil unrest, the resource-rich region of Malakal, South Sudan is looking to capitalize upon its conducive climate and agrarian culture to achieve economic development through sesame oil production. To support this objective, this effort seeks to understand the Malakal context and identify related financial and strategic assumptions that could affect the success of a sesame oil operation, develop means to evaluate these assumptions, and formulate these insights into a plan-to-learn that can subsequently be used to shape a community-driven business model for a related agribusiness.

The Purdue Innovation

This project won a Shah Lab Seed Grant in 2021 and is in progress.

The Partners:

Purdue University:

  • Joseph Sinfield, Professor of Civil Engineering and Director of the College of Engineering Innovation and Leadership Studies Program
  • Edwin Kpodzro, Graduate Student, Mechanical Engineering and Ecological Sciences and Engineering


  • The Hon. James Tor Monybuny, Deputy Governor of the Upper Niles State and board member of Ayiidit Agricultural Cooperative Society (AACS)