Combat Malnutrition through Spirulina

Spirulina – An Introduction

Seemingly simple, aquatic, microscopic, spiral shaped, blue green algae, is one of the most concentrated sources of nutrition known to man. Spirulina is an immortal descendent of the first photosynthetic life form. Spirulina is exceedingly adaptable and occurs in a wide variety of environments including fresh water, tropical springs, saltwater and saltpans. Spirulina contains an amazing array of vital nutrients, such as high quality Protein, minerals, Vitamins, Enzymes and Pigments- all very important for our body function and good health.

The nutritional bounty hidden within Spirulina is mind numbing!  A dose of Spirulina delivers more of the micronutrients required daily by the human body than traditionally cherished foods like Milk, Egg, Carrots, Greens, Meat etc., The wide mix of micronutrients in Spirulina bestows Spirulina with a versatile role as a nutrient. Be it the new born, young, healthy, health conscious or the convalescing – Spirulina is useful to all. 

Why we are promoting Spirulina?

It is well known that Usilampatti Taluk was notorious for female infanticide and feticide.  WED Trust work with local communities for more than two decades and changed the social behavior so that it saved many lives of female infants and  girl friendly houses, gender equity habits and women rights culture were promoted.  During the travel in the social road, we discovered that more number of boys, girls and young mothers are having health issues caused by under nutrition.  Apart from the said reality of the area, we were in position to work with these segments and then we planned to promote Spirulina as supplementary food for improving physical and mental health.

Main aims of the Spirulina promotion are

  1. To combat malnutrition among rural children and women. 
  2. Bring women with improved skills and decent self employment opportunity.
  3. Improve the health and socio economic status of rural people.

What we have done so far?

After we got technical training, 30 cents in Chellampatti was selected at the backyard of WED Trust office to grow Spirulina algae. The land is properly leveled by the workers using sand and cruiser dust. The land was fully fenced with Alumni wire to protect Spirulina tank from birds, animals and human beings. 20 tanks were constructed and water pipe lines laid to make ease the water availability to all.  Thereafter we started up to grow Spirulina in all tanks with the labor of 5 women.  The quality and quantity of the Spirulina production in the 20 tanks is satisfied with more than expected - according to the field staff and technical advisors.

  1. Impacts of Malnutrition was educated to the students, parents, SHGs and micro enterprises through in put lectures, hand bills, children education center, regular meets and discussions with various groups.
  2. Spirulina products such as Tablets, Candy and Powder format are sold as supplementary food among rural people and improve the health of weak children and young mothers.
  3. 6 women are getting decent salary through out year that is ensured through Spirulina production unit.

Future plans

  • Promote nutrition awareness among children and parents through health education
  • Provide trainings to bring more women as Spirulina micro entrepreneurs
  • Promote  production unit as the  self employment  and livelihood source for rural women
  • Extend the mix of  Spirulina  with other eatables like fruit mix, Juice mix, milk mix, etc
  • Researching the ways to convert Spirulina into value added food products
  • Spread  Spirulina products as a  healthy supplementary food
  • Upgrade the byproducts of Spirulina  and find new social markets