Creating Spirulina Microentrepreneurs to Solve Malnutrition
Sailendra Appanah of EnerGaia Bangladesh Ltd in Bangladesh will teach low-income women in rural Bangladesh to farm Spirulina, which is an edible protein- and nutrient-rich microalgae, to provide better nutrition and an income for them and their families. They have developed a low-cost Spirulina production system comprising closed tanks with filtered air and water inputs, and a business model that provides the farmers with a lease-to-own financing solution and guaranteed buyers of excess product. They will recruit 30 interested women from Dhaka, Bangladesh, and pay them a small wage to undergo three months of training at their local Spirulina farm. They will then provide them with tanks through the lease-to-own program, help them with installation and operation, and process the fresh spirulina produce for sale or for local consumption. They will evaluate the effect of their approach on income and malnutrition in the community.