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Students4Kids EN » Afya – Microalgae in the fight against malnutrition

Afya – Microalgae in the fight against malnutrition

Short description

With a locally produced dietary supplement based on spirulina microalgae, our project provides the people of Uganda with access to essential nutrients and an additional income.

The problem we aim to solve

Our project addresses hidden hunger on two levels: Spirulina microalgae with a protein content of up to 70% and a high proportion of vitamins such as vitamin A and minerals such as iron are ideal for treating specific symptoms of hidden hunger. In addition, local cultivation provides a low-cost product that supplements the usual diet and creates additional income for the operators of the facilities, who can afford a more balanced diet.

Our solution

Cheap in production, environmentally friendly in cultivation, and effective as a source of nutrients – spirulina algae are the food of choice. Our spirulina is cultivated locally in water basins and dried after harvesting. The end product is a green powder which is long-lasting and can be added to any food or drink. This means that no change in eating habits is necessary.

Running the farms is easy and can be learned by everyone. We place a special focus on enabling women to run the farms. The algae farmers are trained by us and receive support in the sale and quality assurance of the algae powder. In the long term, they should be able to operate the algae farms independently.

We would like to sell the algae powder produced through two channels. On the one hand, we offer spirulina to NGOs and schools as a cost-effective way to enhance food. Thus we ensure that the advantages of spirulina algae also reach the poorest. On the other hand, we would like to sell spirulina to the middle and upper classes at a slightly higher price than “superfood” in order to guarantee the operators an adequate income. Here, our algae powder has a price advantage over the previous imported products due to local production.

The innovativeness of our approach

Spirulina is already marketed in the western world as “superfood”. There are also projects already underway for the humanitarian distribution of spirulina in developing countries. What makes our solution unique and enables a sustainable fight against hidden hunger is the combination of these two approaches: By addressing different consumers with different spirulina products, we ensure the profitability of algae farms. At the same time, our approach enables us to reach the poorest of the poor with our products.

Technologies and Methods

The algae farm is designed as a cost-effective open-pond system – an open water basin with a cover to protect against contamination. To convince of our product we rely on cooperation with schools and NGOs to present the advantages of spirulina in workshops and teaching concepts. On the other hand, we would like to introduce our product to doctors and other community leaders and win them as ambassadors for Spirulina.

Potential Partners

The NGO “GoSmile Uganda” is our local partner who will supervise the project in Uganda. In addition, we are currently looking for schools or NGOs interested in testing our algae. We also need partners who can support us to make the project better known in Uganda as well as in Germany. A partner with medical knowledge would also be helpful to confirm the effectiveness of spirulina consumption. In the long term, we are also looking for other partners who are interested in operating their own algae farm.


Voting ends on June 24, 2018, 11:59 pm (CEST).

Afya - Microalgae in the fight against malnutrition

Team: Nikolas Finck

Kai Wiederhold

Clarissa Heidenreich

Sarah Klug

Ganna Bodnya

Martin Wendiggensen

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