Elekea Ltd was incorporated in 2013 with the aim of actualising environmental protection from theory to practise. I, Amisha Patel, on a trip to Mutomo an ASAL in Kenya, I noticed some of the baobab being cut to make way for land to mine, farm or buildings. The trees are not used for firewood and as the roots are close to the surface and very extensive, people cannot farm on land they stand on.
The idea of creating economic realisation from the baobab fruit for the farmers came as I came across the numerous nutritional benefits of the baobab fruit. Together with Kenya Forestry Research Institute, we trained some farmers on harvesting techniques and in 2015 we harvested about 4 tonnes of fruit pods.
These are transferred to a small processing unit in KEFRI, Karura for separation of the raw baobab powder.
Last year we were able to buy our key supplier of baobab fruit, a solar lamp which also charges his phone. He would normally walk to take a matatu 2 km away to charge his phone.
I started making the jams as we realised people wanted already value added products in addition to the raw powder. Kenyans love spice. Kenyans love to try new food. Combining this need brought about the Baobab and Chilli Jam: a superhit with anyone who tried it. Our raw materials are sourced from local markets and the jam made to order.
Each pot has 5% baobab powder giving each serving a potent antioxidant, Vitamin C, Calcium, Magnesium and Potassium boost. There is no additional gelling agent other than the pectin from the baobab powder itself making this vegan and gluten free. Thing is, this jam is so versatile that it can be had on its own, with breakfast ,lunch and dinner and in just as many applications. We favour slathering on grilled cheese sandwich or with baked camembert. Apparently it also has a unique taste with vanilla icecream! A little pot with a big benefit!