Agricultural engineer Abdul Qader Bakr has produced spirulina algae in Gaza for the first time.
Abdul Qader brought samples from abroad and was able to use mineral salts in his greenhouse to acclimate them, adjusting the salt required until he found the correct solution composition to allow for algae growth.
Spirulina is an edible blue-green alga known for its anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties as it is rich in protein, vitamins, minerals, and carotenoids that can help protect cells from damage. It is also used as a fertiliser to boost plant growth and to improve animal immunity, thus reducing treatment costs.
The algae is extracted from the incubators with special filters, followed by a process of washing, sterilisation, drying and a thermal oven. Then it is sterilised again and ground into powder ready for sale on the market or pharmacies.
“This project is supported by my university,” Abdul Qader told MEMO, but it may become a commercial endeavour if the correct backing is found. “I hope that this will be achieved in light of the difficult economic conditions,” he added.