VOCATIONAL TRAINING ON SPIRULINA CULTIVATION
SPIRULINA TRAINING PROGRAM 2013...................... (Click here)
Click here to download the Application for Spirulina Training
Spirulina is remarkable blue - green algae known for its nutritional properties. It has been in existence for 3.6 billion years and has the ability to grow in both ocean and inland waters. Regarded by some as one of the most powerful foods on earth, Spirulina is now being consumed in more than 75 countries around the world.
Spirulina and the Environment
OfERR’s Spirulina cultivation is sustainable and environmentally friendly.
• As an oxygen producer and absorber of carbon-dioxide, Spirulina helps to replenish the oxygen supply in the environment
• Sunlight is the only source of energy required, and this is in plentiful supply
• Solar energy is used for the motor pump which provides water for the tanks
• No soil is needed, so tanks are built only on land that is unfit for agricultural use
• Little water is required for cultivation, and any waste water is diverted to agriculture
Trainees Batch of Spirulina Training conducted in July 2011 are with Mr.S.C.Chandrahasan, Chief Functionary, OfERR
Click to view a brief update on Spirulina Training Program held in July 2011
Spirulina and the Income Generation
In addition to its nutritional programme, OfERR began to incorporate Spirulina in its income generation work. As cultivation is low-cost and relatively simple, it is a potential source of income for the refugee community, both now and upon their return to Sri Lanka. OfERR not only distributes Spirulina to the camps, but also trains volunteers in cultivation methods. Women’s self-help groups have begun Spirulina production as part of their efforts to achieve economic independence. 35 camps currently have small Spirulina tanks. The product is not only distributed and sold within the refugee camps, but also to local people.
Indeed, OfERR has worked hard to spread the benefits of Spirulina beyond the refugee community. The Nallayan Research Centre has hosted many training programmes for the people of Tamil Nadu, initially farmers and rural people, and more recently researchers, professionals and other interested parties. The nutritional and economic benefits of Spirulina have now spread across the state and beyond; 265 Indian citizens have received training from OfERR, and as a result 15 new cultivation centres have been established nationwide. Meanwhile national magazines and newspapers have also expressed interest in the project. Demand and consequently production is increasing all the time.
The Spirulina programme is a great source of pride for OfERR. It is just one example of the refugee community’s innovation and dynamism; it shows Sri Lankan refugees learning to support themselves while also training and providing for the people who have hosted them for the past 25 years.
Spirulina: nature’s green magic
Spirulina can be enjoyed fresh or as a sun-dried powder which is mixed with juice or milk to produce a refreshing drink. Mixing the green powder with lime juice is popular, and is enjoyed every morning by refugee children before leaving for school. But Spirulina can also be added to food such as pongal, sandwiches and other snacks.
Mix one tablespoon of Spirulina powder in two cups of carrot or tomato juice. For extra flavour, add a dash of lime juice. Garnish with chopped almonds.
Health Benefits of Spirulina
Spirulina contains numerous essential vitamins and minerals, and is high in protein.
• Rich in Vitamins A, B, B12, and B complex, as well as Vitamins C and E, Riboflavin and Thiamine
• Contains important minerals such as Iron, Calcium, Zinc and Phosphorous
• Possesses 20% more protein than soya beans and 10% more beta carotene than carrots
• Free from cholesterol and starch, and constituted by approximately 60% protein plus smaller proportions of carbohydrates, fat and fibre
The qualities of this super-food lead to many health benefits.
• Boosts the immune system
• Improves digestion, detoxifies the body and works as an anti-oxidant
• Enhances growth, accelerates healing and tissue repair
• Builds resistance in AIDS patients (according to NASA research)
• Helps to combat malnourishment, anaemia, diabetes, asthma and cancer
NASA research states that “The nutritional character of 1kg of Spirulina contains the nutritional character of 1,000kg of vegetables.”
The World Health Organisation recommends Spirulina as a nutritional supplement, especially for children and pregnant women.
Spirulina: Success stories
Spirulina consumption has contributed to some surprising success stories.
19-year-old reaches puberty - Tamizh Elakiya, a 19 year old refugee, had discontinued her studies due to financial difficulties, and her parents were greatly concerned by her delay in reaching puberty. OfERR provided counselling at this difficult time, and the girl received treatment to address the problem. Unfortunately, the treatment was not successful. In May 2005, OfERR recommended a course of Spirulina, and just two months later Tamizh Elakiya finally began puberty, much to the joy of her parents, relatives and OfERR health workers.
Spirulina combats Vitilago - Tamil Selvi was affected by Vitilago from the age of 7. The disease causes whitish spots to appear on the skin; the marks began on her left knee and then spread to her face, hands and feet. She was under medication from 1997 but her condition seemed to worsen. On OfERR’s recommendation, Tamil Selvi started a daily course of 2g of Spirulina. By March 2003, there was considerable improvement in her face, palms and knees. Her continued regular intake of Spirulina over two years resulted in significant improvement in her BMI (body mass index), while her height and weight also increased. She continues her intake of Spirulina to combat the remaining patches on her feet and hands.
Spirulina Availability - OfERR sells Spirulina at a subsidised rate to refugees and local people. But the product is available to all. Priced at Rs.1.25 per gram, finely powdered and packaged Spirulina is available in quantities of 2g, 50g and 100g at all OfERR centres: Chennai, Trichy, Erode, Nellai (Tirunelveli), Nallayan/Thazhampur (Kanchipuram district), Parangipettai, Tharangampadi and Colachel.
Spirulina: 50 g - 75 INR / 1.5 $ USD
OfERR SPIRULINA IN VIDEOS
- About the Spirulina Cultivation by OfERR Spirulina Program Coordinator
- OfERR Spirulina Products
- Feedback of Mr.Jalaludin from Jordon on Spirulina Cultivation Training by OfERR