Mission in the cradle of mankind: Ethiopia

May be Lucy, our ancestor,  consumed spirulina! Who knows … But it was 3.2 million years ago!

Diane de Jouvencel and Arnault de Torquat, our new volunteer, returned from an exploratory mission in Ethiopia. This mission was made following the request of the Ethiopian Ministry of Agriculture. The goal is to collect our opinions and experiences of growing spirulina.

After numerous exchanges, Antenna France decided to conduct this exploratory visit with the following objectives:

  • assess the credibility of the project by meeting with officials of the Ministry of Agriculture, Addis Ababa University, FAO and the French Embassy.
  • visit production sites (the lake district south of Addis Ababa, the photo shows the lake Bishoftu)) and assess the operational potential of the farms.
  • understand the political environment and the operating model of the NGOs in the country and reflect on the possibilities of involvement of Antenna France.

Regarding the situation in Ethiopia, 8 million people are receiving food aid  annually (out of a population of 95 million). In 2016 due to drought induced by El Niño, add 12 million people. Alarming situation but a real willingness of the authorities to want to fight against structural and cyclical malnutrition in developing the culture of spirulina. The Human Development Index puts Ethiopia ranked 173 out of 187 countries. Yet Ethiopia is now presented as the country with greatest growth in Africa (8%).

All points of the objectives  were met and quality contacts were established there. It is clear that the culture of Spirulina is a government priority. Efforts will focus on Oromia region with, in addition to the objective of fighting chronic malnutrition, that of increasing employment in the Lake District. The Minister of State with whom Diane and Arnault  exchanged wishes to develop the culture of spirulina with alkaline water found in the lakes. Antenna France will now proceed with the analysis of water from a number of lakes identified.

This visit confirmed the seriousness of the project of spirulina supported by the government. The Ministry, as the FAO, would want a program that can impact on the population. The government has so far no budget but can act as a facilitator for sponsor companies and organizations that can help us in our mission. Now it’s time for action, we will inform you of the development of this project.