Chia seeds are a popular health food that have gained popularity in recent years due to their numerous health benefits. While chia seeds are native to Mexico and Guatemala, they can be grown in many other parts of the world, including Africa.
In Africa, chia seeds are primarily grown in Kenya, Ethiopia, Tanzania, and Uganda. These countries have a favorable climate for chia cultivation, with temperatures that range between 20-30°C, and adequate rainfall. Moreover, chia seeds are a drought-resistant crop, making them a suitable option for farmers in arid and semi-arid regions.
The chia seed industry in Africa is still relatively small compared to other regions, such as South America, where chia cultivation is more established. However, there is growing interest in chia farming in Africa, and some companies have already started investing in the sector.
Chia seeds are a popular superfood that are rich in fiber, omega-3 fatty acids, and other nutrients. While chia seeds are not widely grown in Africa, they are imported and consumed in many African countries. Here are some of the statistics, facts, figures, trends, and prices related to the chia seed industry in Africa:
- Market Size: The African chia seed market is still in its early stages, but it is growing rapidly. The African chia seed market was valued at USD 7.86 million in 2020 and is expected to reach USD 23.96 million by 2026, with a CAGR of 20.7% during the forecast period (2021-2026).
- Production: Africa accounts for a small portion of the global chia seed production. In Africa, chia seeds are primarily grown in countries such as Ethiopia, Kenya, Tanzania, and Uganda. Kenya is the largest producer of chia seeds in Africa, followed by Ethiopia and Tanzania.
- Consumption: Chia seeds are becoming increasingly popular in Africa due to their health benefits. They are consumed in various forms, including as an ingredient in smoothies, snacks, yogurts, salads, dietary supplements, and baked goods.
- Export: Africa also has a small share in the global chia seed export market. According to the International Trade Centre (ITC), Africa exported 171 tonnes of chia seeds in 2020, with Ethiopia and Tanzania being the major exporters
- Imports: African countries import chia seeds primarily from South America, where the majority of chia seeds are grown. In 2020, the top African importers of chia seeds were South Africa, Egypt, and Nigeria, according to data from Trade Map.
- Prices: Chia seed prices in Africa vary depending on several factors, such as the quality, region, and market demand, the country, and the supplier. The average wholesale price of chia seeds in South Africa was USD 3.33 per kilogram in January 2023, while in Egypt it was USD 3.85 per kilogram. The export price of chia seeds from Ethiopia in 2019 was $3.65 per kilogram, while the export price of chia seeds from Tanzania was $2.16 per kilogram. In Kenya, chia seeds are sold at an average price of Ksh 2,000 ($18) per kilogram. In Tanzania, chia seeds are sold at an average price of Tsh 6,000 ($2.6) per kilogram, and in Ethiopia, the export price of chia seeds in 2020 was $3.5 per kilogram.
- Trends: There is a growing demand for organic and non-GMO chia seeds in Africa, as consumers become more health-conscious and environmentally aware. Additionally, there is a trend towards using chia seeds as a plant-based protein source in vegan and vegetarian diets.
Ultimately, while the chia seed industry in Africa is still in its early stages, there is potential for growth, and some companies are already making strides in this direction. As more companies invest in chia cultivation and processing in Africa, the industry is likely to become more established, creating opportunities for farmers and businesses. The market is expected to continue to expand in the coming years, driven by factors such as increasing health consciousness and a growing demand for plant-based protein sources.
Sources: United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD), International Trade Centre (ITC), Mordor Intelligence, Index Mundi, Kenya Ministry of Agriculture, Tanzania Ministry of Agriculture, and UN Comtrade database.