Intergovernmental Institution for the Use of Micro-Algae Spirulina Against Malnutrition

Intergovernmental Observer to the United Nations Economic and Social Council Under ECOSOC Resolution 2003/212 Dated 5th of March 2003.
Designated by the United Nations Economic & Social Council Under Rule 79 of the Council’s Rules and Procedures.


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10th Anniversary (2003-2013) of the Farm Production of Spirulina Morondava Madagascar

spirulina farm Morondava in Madagascar Menabe

Coming into operation in 2003, spirulina farm Morondava in Madagascar Menabe to celebrating its 10th anniversary. Back to a successful cooperation.

Woman with children in Madagascar
CODEGAZ and choice of spirulina A balanced diet is an obvious critical need. However in the majority of countries where CODEGAZ involved in this area , 40 to 80% of the population were below the poverty line and are at risk of malnutrition. But CODEGAZ is not intended to act in the same way that the great specialist in the fight against undernutrition organizations. In addition, if spirulina can claim alone solve the problem of malnutrition , but it may help to improve the lot of the poor. This is why the association has chosen to promote this innovative solution to help treat malnutrition. In fact , spirulina is very appreciated and twenty years by dietetic professionals for its nutritional and medicinal qualities. It has the advantage of improving the health of children in a state of food deficiency or anemia , anemia in pregnant women and strengthen the immune adults weakened by disease . In addition , Spirulina can be sold cheap or sold for commercial gain, a production of spirulina is an opportunity to provide local economic development.

The spirulina farm Morondava in Madagascar With a first successful large-scale experiment in Burkina Faso in 1999, CODEGAZ launched the production of spirulina farm in Madagascar in the town of Morondava in Menabe region to deal with the consequences of moderate malnutrition on island. Implementation and operated in cooperation with SPIRMEN founded by the Diocese of Morondava , the spirulina farm has experienced continuous expansion to reach the end of 2011 a production area of 2500 m2 over 16 ponds and become the unit of production of spirulina the largest of Madagascar and Africa.

Spirulina farms
Significant social and economic benefits
Social and health perspective, since 2003 , more than 60 000 people have benefited from the benefits of spirulina produced in the farm Morondava , through free distribution, at a reduced price clinics or commercial sale.The production of dry spirulina increased from 250 kg in 2004 to 4,640 kg in 2012 and 5400 kg in late 2013. (30% of this production is destined for donations or sales at reduced prices ) In addition, the firm employs more than 30 people , thereby contributing to local economic development (including social security , retirement , free for employees and their families SPIRMEN medical care, spouse and children). Finally, thanks to gains from the commercial sale of spirulina, the bishopric can finance many social works such as the construction of schools, college scholarships,the establishment of nurseries, etc.

Beyond the fight against malnutrition by improving daily nutritional needs , the economic impact of this real “human adventure” are major:

  • it creates jobs for the local population
  • it raises income-generating activities that provide benefits
  • it enables people to live better, improving their financial resources, to care , by educating

Close cooperation and long-term
From the outset of the project, CODEGAZ brought to SPIRMEN technical expertise through project management of construction sites trays spirulina and financial support. In addition, the expansion of production areas is accompanied by a continuous process of transfer of technical, organizational and financial autonomy to enable management SPIRMEN.

Finally, CODEGAZ maintained its cooperation with SPIRMEN , serving on the management committee of the firm or its expertise in technical and management continue to be required.Moreover, Moreover, CODEGAZ exploring new ways of using spirulina we speak to you when we get more advanced these ….

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Spirulina production in Burkina Faso

Background of Spirulina production in Burkina Faso

The first farm for aquaculture of the Spirulina seaweed alga, was launched in Koudougou in 1999 under the auspices of the Catholic Organisation for Development and Solidarity, OCADES (Organisation Catholique pour le Développement et la Solidarité).

The three main objectives at the time were

  • Supply the nutritional health centres of the diocese (CREN – Centre de récupération nutritionelle) and other health centres in Burkina with Spirulina algae in the fight against malnutrition. These supplies are delivered at a loss, which is however offset by the profits from the commercial outlets.
  • Sales of the remaining stocks (80%) on the open market in order to balance production costs and offer the public at large a food additive of high value at low cost.
  • Fight unemployment in Koudougou by creating jobs at the farm.

At present the success of Spirulina (improvement in public health and the nutritional status of the underfed) has led to the extension of existing farms and the setting up of new ones to meet the growing demand in Burkina and in the neighbouring countries.

The Koudougou Farms – A Humanitarian Venture
The farm at Le Petit Séminaire

The farm at Le Petit Séminaire has expanded in stages and now covers 900 m2. Today its average output is 170 kg a month. The farm is managed as a modern plant and since 2000 it is self-financing. It must also generate the necessary assets for its development programme. Nevertheless it is an undertaking with a humanitarian mission. Its chief objective remains giving the public access to Spirulina at a minimum price and distributing the product, even at a loss, among the most destitute. Following quality checks, the product from the farm received Health Ministry approval, in 2005.

The Nayalgue Farm
As of 2001 the amazing success of the Spirulina production at the Koudougou plant resulted in the launching of additional production sites in Burkina, with the assistance of a number of Non Governmental Organisations. The Burkina Government also became involved in a large new project, the Nayalgue farm, in co-operation with the diocese of Koudougou and the French NGO TECHNAP.

Its objectives are: alleviating malnutrition and providing support to HIV/AIDS patients. Nayalgue is a Moore word, meaning “that which expands”. The new plant of 3600 m2 will produce an estimated 8 tonnes of Spirulina a year. There are three target groups which will benefit from its output:

  • Children below the age of 5, suffering from serious malnutrition and being in the care of the Nutritional Health Centres CREN (25% of the production earmarked for the treatment of 16 000 underfed patients a year)
  • HIV positive patients (20% of the production set aside for 2000 cases in treatment per year)
  • Members of the public wishing to enhance their health status (44 000 consumers a year, absorbing 55% of the production)

Hence it is a humanitarian undertaking which is now going ahead in Burkina. By “undertaking” we understand a production unit led by a managing director and a team of professional assistants, working to ensure self-financing of the operation. By the qualification “humanitarian”, we refer to the objective of giving the general public, including the very poorest, access to the product.

Other Spirulina Production Sites in Burkina Faso

Woman working at spirulina farmThe Loumbila farm situated 15 km north of the capital Ouagadougou is run by missionaries and nuns, with the help of Antena Technology. This plant of 330 m2 yields 6 gram/ m2/ day, or roughly 50 kg per month.

The farm in Bobo Dioulasso (the 2nd largest town) is a plant financed by the Maltese Order to support a local unit which helps the poorest (street clinics). The farm has two aquaculture basins of 10m2 each. In this way the Order is able to ensure the distribution of about 20 doses of Spirulina a day to small children, aged 1 to 5 years.

The Nanoro farm, located at 75 km north of Koudougou, has two basins of 50m2, built and operated by Camillian priests.

The farm in Ouahigouya (the 4th largest town), in the north of the country, forecasts aquaculture basins of a total of 400 m2. A plant of this size could generate 800 kg of Spirulina annually. The farm is supervised by Mr and Mrs André and Chantal Buhler, residents of Ouahigouya.

The Sapouy farm is in the province of Ziro, 100 km south of Ouagadougou, where two 10m2 basins produce an average of 120 gram of Spirulina a day.

The Sabou farm 85 km from Ouagadougou on the Ouagadougou-Bobo axis. 6 20m2 basins are under construction and will distribute Spirulina algae to the CREN nutritional
centres and to persons in need.

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Spirulina is a micro-algae that grows naturally in certain alkaline lakes of warm countries. It can also be grown in water with remarkable efficiency. It is consumed dried. Its exceptional contents in proteins, amino acids, vitamins (A = Bétacarotène, B12), gamma-linoleic acid and trace elements (iron, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, calcium,… ..), make it an excellent food supplement that can strengthen the immune system of the body. With 1 or 2 grams per day a child suffering from severe or medium malnutrition can be cured in 5 to 6 weeks.

Antenna Technology Partnership
Antenna Technologies, an NGO whose main objective is the fight against malnutrition, decided to develop the culture of spirulina in the developing countries. Tarbiyya Tatali (RAEDD) has
volunteered to be a partner in this project. Tarbiyya Tatali is committed to delivering 20% of the production of spiruline to health services in charge nof fighting malnutrition. The
rest can be sold.

Construction of Aquaculture Basins and Starting Production
The site has been chosen, electricity and water made available, tanks, toilets and buildings constructed, and spirulina sown in tanks. A person is responsible for stirring the tanks of spirulina every hour every day. Spirulina has been put under cultivation at the beginning of the summer 2007 and began production. The Staff responsible for the care of malnourished children in Dogon Doutchi greatly appreciate the effectiveness of spirulina, which shortens the hospital stay of the numerous children in Niger.

Men constructing a spirulina basin

Construction d’un bassin à la ferme de spiruline

The Search for Economic Stability
The situation in August 2012
Despite efforts to increase sales of spiruline in Niger, by engaging a sales agent, subsidizing the sales price, campaigning for donations and subsidies in France, the stock has now risen to 250 kilos and the spiruline farm workers’overdue salaries have accumulated.

Following the appointment of a doctor in each community of the Dogon Doutchi department, sales at subsidized price are now going to develop. Malnourished children will get spiruline treatment for 0.8 euro per child, while the cost price is at 2 euro.

Sales through chemists’shops in Niger and a few exceptional sales in France have resulted in diversification and improvement of the situation, the stock fell to 170 kilos in the summer of 2013, but some wages are still unpaid.