The Project: Thriving Green

Give a man a spirulina and you feed him for a day. Teach a man how to grow spirulina and the man feeds his village every day.

Problem & Target Group

  • Location: Turkana, Kenya
  • Temperatures above 45° Celsius
  • Daily average income of €1.50
  • Region: extreme heat, drought and poverty
  • Aggravation due to climate change
  • Infant mortality: approx. 25%
Persons Man starving village Nariokotome
Cottage in Kenya
Children Group Nariokotome 2017
Farmer Joseph from Nariokotome

The product

The microalgae spirulina is the perfect product for the target regions: it’s a superfood which grows in conditions where plants usually cannot survive while also being environment-friendly.

The nutritional profile (290 kcal, 65 g protein per 100 g and numerous vitamins) can prevent the severe consequences of malnutrition. Daily harvests, high yields, low water consumption and effective CO2 sequestration make spirulina the best food for the future.

Spirulina can feed 10 times more people with the same acerage than wheat. Furthermore, the innovative food is highly accepted in the market.

Concept & Vision

Thriving Green grows the algae and superfood spirulina in the desert of Kenya and thereby fights hunger and malnutrition. For this purpose, we build breeding facilities together with the locals and train them in cultivation, operation and distribution. Through regular workshops, they are empowered to sustainably feed themselves, their families and their entire village.

The income generated from independently operating their own breeding facilities also creates an economic opportunity that opens up a whole new livelihood for the people (e.g. access to education and medical care). The technical solution has been verified by TÜV Nord, the ecological sustainability has been confirmed by WWF. The concept has been awarded with, among others, the Social Innovation Award of the Bayer Foundation and the GreenTec Award 2017, the largest and most important environmental prize in the world.

Our vision is the sustainable fight against malnutrition through spirulina cultivation.

To realize this, we commit to this mission:

By setting up spirulina cultivation ponds, training local spirulina farmers, distributing spirulina and otherwise supporting the cultivation process, we help people suffering from malnutrition in crisis regions such as Turkana, northern Kenya. In accordance with the principle of “help people to help themselves”, the focus is on empowering the target group to become successful spirulina farmers. Thus, through economic viability and technological support, spirulina farmers will be able to provide themselves, their family and their entire village with the superfood spirulina and generate further income.

Our goals by the end of 2021 are:

  • Use of sensor systems and other technical tools to improve the breeding facility and breeding processes
  • Quality management and assurance
  • Optimization and expansion of breeding facilities
  • Establishment and expansion of a site in Mombasa
  • Evaluation of new locations, also in urban regions
  • Building new partnerships in Kenya and Germany
  • Continuous on-site support by project members and partners
  • Economic viability
  • Publication of a new website
Spirulina Pond Harvest Jens Partner Nariokotome
Spirulina harvest tray close up
Persons Team Boy Smiling Desert Nariokotome 2017
Dried spirulina