The Agribusiness of Chia Seeds in Nicaragua

Wholesale Export Empowering Small Farmers

by Keith Agoada

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Cultivation of unorthodox export crops has proven to be one effective technique for increasing the profitability of small farms in developing nations. By transitioning from low-value domestic crops to higher-value organic certified "superfood" crops, farmers can see 400+% increases in profitability for the same input of energy, time, and cost.

CAC Trading in Nicaragua has proven the viability of this agribusiness model. CAC has been organizing small farmers into a cooperative and providing them with seeds and technical support. They then aggregate their productive outputs to reach container-load volumes for direct sales to international clients in the United States and Europe.

We at Producers Market have had the opportunity to learn directly from CAC Trading about their business model and organic certified chia seeds. We find their model to be quite compelling, empowering, and potentially replicable in other developing agricultural areas in Latin America and across the globe.

CAC Trading believes that farmers are entrepreneurs. In their experience, small rural farmers who get things for free don't experience the same level of success and empowerment as those who cover their costs. Instead, everyone in their program has to invest and work for their profits, which CAC Trading has found to be a more effective way of supporting them in achieving their long-term financial goals.

They have found success integrating intensive organic chia seed cultivation into farmers’ crop rotations. Furthermore, by reaching a critical mass of small farmers growing chia seeds, CAC Trading has been able to access lucrative export clients in the United States and Europe.

Ramses Ortega, CAC Trading's CEO, informed us about the issue of conventional chia seeds sold on the wholesale market as certified organic. The company has performed independent third-party lab tests on these conventional seeds and found high levels of chemicals that are banned for organic certification.

We admire CAC Trading’s dedication to organic production methods and farmer empowerment. Their business model is clearly a powerful approach to rural development.

We are excited to list CAC Trading's organic certified chia seeds on Producers Market for sale to importers, distributors, and retailers around the world. We feel a strong alignment with their mission, vision, and values. We aim to establish direct sales relationships for organic wholesale chia seeds packaged in bulk to leading buyers of superfoods worldwide.

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