Chia seeds are not only delicious to eat but also serve as a cure for a wide range of diseases. In our last issue of ABCafrica entrepreneurship, we mentioned Chia seeds to contain large amounts of fiber and omega-3 fatty acids, plenty of high quality protein, and several essential minerals and antioxidants. They may improve risk factors for heart disease and diabetes, lead to better digestive health and increase blood levels of heart-healthy omega-3 fats. ABCafrica entrepreneurship brings you an exclusive interview with Madam Pamela Batuma, the Manager King Ceasor Chia seeds. Below is an extract of the interview.
ABCafrica. What prompted you to start chia Business?
P. Batuma: Chia seeds were first introduced to me in 2015 and upon doing research on the internet, I realized this was not just any seed but a superfood that can help you stay healthy and young. It’s benefits were so impressing and its prices and demand projections into 2020 are quite high.
ABCafrica: What are the benefits of taking chia?
P.Batuma: Chia seeds from my personal experience are an instant energy giver or boost. I usually take my two table spoons mixed with water as a mid afternoon snack and I have replaced chia with evening tea and this gives me so much energy the same feeling you get when you have just woken up.
ABCafrica: Chia seeds are new in this market and the farmers are concerned about its market potential. What do you say on this?
P.Batuma: Indeed, it is a new seed in Uganda that was introduced in 2012 from the South American market. Uganda being a tropical climate and with lots of virgin land, was one of the best places to grow chia seeds and we have so many farmers growing chia in western and northern parts of Uganda.
Local consumption of chia seeds is on the rise like they say; Charity begins at home, Ugandans have gotten into the habit of taking chia as part of their routine diet. This is because of its healthy benefits and word of mouth has gone round the people, who have had their health alignments cured. Examples of these include; stomach Ulcers, Diabetes, Reduced cholesterol levels and many more that I have personally heard about.
ABCafrica: What is the Global Chia Seeds Market forecast?
P.Batuma:The market has been geographically segmented into North America, Europe, Asia-Pacific, South America and Africa. Globally, 80 per cent of chia supply is coming from South America. However, US and Australia are the market leaders and have highest chia seeds demand. Asia Pacific is expected to witness the fastest growth due to large consumer base and consumer inclination towards the superfoods. North America witnessed the largest food and beverage launches, with chia ingredients in 2014, followed by Asia Pacific and Europe. In the coming years, demand of chia based products will be going to increase in UK, Brazil, Chile, Spain and India.
The global market is indeed determined by demand and supply just like any other crop exports and its prices fluctuate. There is very high demand for Organic chia. Uganda Chia seeds are mostly Organic.
ABCafrica: What does Chia certification process require?
P.Batuma:There are different types of certification in Uganda, starting with UNBS certification which gives a local certification registration number and International number for acceptance of sale of foodstuff. This process is between 3-4 months. Others are international recognized brand such as Nogamu, EAOPS and others. This process takes between 12 to 24 months for a company to get Chia organic certification. And once the company has Chia certification, then its prices are much higher than the non-certified on the world market.
ABCafrica: Chia seeds have no taste. Why would someone want to take it?
P.Batuma: It is true chia seeds have no taste or flavor and are not meant to be taken as nice to eat or yummy foods like chips or sausage. Chia seeds should always be mixed with food, salad or drink to boost your energy and for health benefits
ABCafrica: Do you sell quality chia seeds?
P.Batuma: The King Ceasor Chia seeds that we bring to the market are of high quality and the best. These chia seeds are purified up to 99.9 per cent and are super clean
ABCafrica: Where can we buy your chia seeds?
P.Batuma: King Ceasor Chia seeds are sold in supermarkets in Uganda such as Capital shoppers, Checkers supermarket, Millineum supermarket, Jazz supermarket and Embassy supermarket.
ABCafrica: Are your prices very competitive?
P.Batuma:Our prices are highly competitive and best in the market. Grab your next pack of chia from any of the supermarkets.