Kabale Farmers Protest low Chia Seed Prices

9358 Views Kabale, Western Region, Uganda

In short
Dr. Francis Mwesigye Runumi, the Prime Minister Mulenga Development Kingdom, says that by the time Chia was being introduced in Kabale, there was high demand on the world market compared to the current situation.

Chia farmers in Kabale district are protesting the huge drop in chia prices. Chia is grown commercially in Kabale for its seed, which is rich in omega-3 fatty acids that help to reduce body inflammation and improve cardiovascular health.

 
Chia seeds provide fiber, which improves digestion and also helps reduce cholesterol levels, and a protein which the body uses to repair and build cells.
Currently, Uganda Chia Organic Limited is the only company involved in the promotion of growing, buying and exportation of chia seeds in the country.



Farmers accuse the company of slashing chia seed prices without giving them any notice. According to the farmers, last year, Uganda Chia Organic Limited enticed them through self-styled King Ceaser Mulenga of Mulenga Development Kingdom to grow Chia. 



They claim that the company promised to pay them between Shillings 15,000-20,000 for a kilogram of ready chia seeds. They however, say they were dismayed last week when they were told by Uganda Chia Organic Limited officials that the price of Chia now stands between Shillings 2,000-3,500 per kilogram.



Veresiano Byamugisha, a concerned Chia farmer from Nyamiryango in Butanda Sub County says after being convinced of better he decided to plant four acres of Chia with hopes of reaping big. According to Byamugisha, he was shocked last week when he was told the new price of Chia seeds is Shillings 3000.
 
 
 
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Jacqueline Korugyendo, another Chia farmer from Kitooma in Rubaya Sub County says she was shocked when she went to look for market for her Chia seeds harvest only to find that a kilogram costs Shillings 2000. 
 

Korugyendo says that she employed casual laborers right from planting to the harvesting period with hopes of paying after selling the Chia seeds. She wonders where she will get the money to pay the laborers.
 

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Peace Ayebare another Chia farmer from Ryakarimira Muguri also in Rubaya Sub County says that she will not grow Chia again because of its unpredictable price. She regrets wasting a lot of time growing Chia seeds instead of focusing on Irish potato, which has ready market. 



Christopher Etonu, the Procurement Manager Organic Chia Limited Uganda, blames the low chia prices on the drop on the World market.
 
 
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Dr. Francis Mwesigye Runumi, the Prime Minister Mulenga Development Kingdom, says that by the time Chia was being introduced in Kabale, there was high demand on the world market compared to the current situation.

 
Dr. Runumi, who is also the former commissioner of Planning in the Health Ministry, blames the huge drop in Chia prices in the country on the massive production in Northern Uganda.
 
He however, says that King Mulenga is in talks with a German investor to start buying Chia seeds at a better price. 
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Tagged with: chia seeds farmers price

About the author

Samuel Amanya
Samuel Amanya is the Kigezi Region URN bureau chief. Kabale, Kisoro, Kanungu and Rukungiri districts fall under his docket. Samuel Amanya has been a Uganda Radio Network reporter since August 2016. Before becoming a URN staff reporter, Amanya had written for the network for several years as a freelancer.


Amanya was also a Voice of Kigezi reporter from 2011 to 2016.


A journalism graduate from African College of Commerce Kabale, Amanya values his independence. Amanya says URN is a home for his talent because it lets him explore his journalistic interests without limits.

Amanya is fascinated by the crime beat and some of his best stories have come out of that interest. Amanya says he aims to be all round beat reporter.