Sustainable Approaches to Combat Malnutrition Print E-mail

Small Scale Production and Marketing of Spirulina

by Urs Heierli with support and contribution from Denis von der Weid

Sustainable approaches to combat malnutrition cover

Spirulina has five key assets in combating malnutrition :

1. It is cheap : to feed a child in India costs between one and two Rupees a day ( US$ 6 to 12 per year ). Many other feeding solutions are more costly and less sustainable.

2. It is effective : one gram per day is enough to correct severe malnutrition in a child in a few weeks. New studies suggest that Spirulina not only improves the physical development of the child but also cognitive performance.

Spirulina helps people affected by HIV/AIDS to feel better in their daily life and gain weight.

3. It is a relatively simple process and requires a low investment of only US$ 500 per tank (18 m2) producing 150grams per day and the technology is fully mastered.

4. It provides income: Spirulina cultivation is ideal work for rural women, as a labour-intensive and caring job.

5. It is a local business : Spirulina production can be organised as a decentralised rural industry and can involve local people. They can produce, process and sell Spirulina as a business and generate rural income. It is thus a sustainable long-term solution.

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Hardcopies are available(free) from SDC, Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation,
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