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UN Women Boosts Chia Seed Production In Gulu

The United Nations Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women-UN Women has partnered with Gulu district local government to boost Chia seed production among women farmers, URN reports.

Chia farming has gained momentum as a popular and exciting farming enterprise among farmers in Gulu and other neighboring districts of Amuru and Nwoya due to the low cost of production, high returns and market.

 The health benefits of Chia seeds include omega-3 fatty acids, antioxidants, fiber, iron, and calcium are important nutrients which improves digestion and protein which the body uses to repair and build cells.

The two-year 1.23 billion shilling livelihood enhancement project seeks to financially empower over 2,000 smallholder women farmers in Awach, Patiko, Palaro, Paicho and Unyama sub counties. 

Paul Kilama Timothy, the Gulu district agriculture officer says that Chia farming doesn’t need chemical applications and use of fertilizers to boost production. According to Kilama, verification of beneficiary women farmers has already started.


Chia Seeds: A New Crop Making Money Savvy Ugandans Richer Faster

Up to 526 farmers have already been certified in Unyama Sub County ahead of the program that is expected to end in 2020.

At least a 60-member-cluster will be formed in all the beneficiary sub counties to form a cooperative union that will help in sorting the seeds, storage, transportation and exportation of the seeds to international markets in Europe and Asia.

Enock Mugabe, an official with UN Women says that each of the farmers under the project will get two local bee hives, tarpaulins and tracing machines for drying and sorting of the seeds.

Mugabe said they have already identified potential buyers for the commodity who will purchase one kilogram of the Chia seeds at 6,000 Uganda shillings compared to the current price ranging between 4,000 to 4,500 shillings.   

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