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Burundi / Bujumbura

Association Solibu

Growing spirulina to combat malnutrition in Burundi

Spirulina algae are strategically important in the fight against malnutrition in Burundi. Spirulina cultivation is also creating new jobs. In Bujumbura, the not-for-profit association Solibu supports the establishment of a new spirulina farm, whose output is partly donated to malnourished children.

Fondation d'Entreprise Hermès - Association Solibu
© Solibu – Denis Lavenant

Spirulina algae are strategically important in the fight against malnutrition in Burundi. Spirulina cultivation is also creating new jobs. In Bujumbura, the not-for-profit association Solibu supports the establishment of a new spirulina farm, whose output is partly donated to malnourished children.The French not-for-profit association Solibu (Solidarité Internationale Burundi) works with Burundi’s poorest communities, cultivating spirulina as a key component in the fight against malnutrition. The microscopic, protein-rich algae are a highly beneficial food supplement for the weakest sufferers, especially children. Solibu’s small, pilot farm produces around 150 kilos of spirulina per year – inadequate for today’s needs. 

To achieve its target production of one tonne of spirulina per year, Solibu has joined forces with Antenna Technologies France to build a new farm near Bujumbura, meeting the nutritional needs of thousands of children. The operation is self-financing: 35 per cent of production is sold commercially as a health and dietary supplement, while the rest is sold at cost price to not-for-profit associations, and distributed free to orphaned children. 

Spirulina is a growth sector, creating agricultural jobs in Burundi. With support from the Fondation d’entreprise Hermès over a two-year period, Solibu is training new spirulina growers and nutrition directors for local health centres. The Foundation is also supporting initiatives to raise awareness of the benefits of spirulina among local populations.   

The programme is supported by the Fondation d’entreprise Hermès as part of its H³ programme (Head – Heart – Hand).

>> Find out more about the H³ programme

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