Spirulina: New variety boosts production

A variety of spirulina (an edible blue-green algae) introduced in the Lake Chad region by FAO has contributed to a doubling in annual production from 10 to 20 t since 2012. Locally known as dihe, the algae grows by the Lake’s edges. The new variety can be consumed raw and has less sand contamination than indigenous spirulina. There were approximately 500 harvesters in 2010. However, with high consumer demand and the income generated, the new variety has created a livelihood for over 1,500 women working in 20 groups. According to the national project coordinator, the women are together earning more than €183,000 per year from spirulina sales.

The Technical Centre for Agricultural and Rural Cooperation (CTA) is a joint international institution of the African, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) Group of States and the European Union (EU). CTA operates under the framework of the Cotonou Agreement and is funded by the EU.