Thursday, 26 November 2020 07:55

New investment in spirulina production

Written by  Staff Reporters
MPI are investing in New Zealand's only spirulina farm. MPI are investing in New Zealand's only spirulina farm.

The Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI) Sustainable Food & Fibres Futures Fund will invest in a project to assess the viability of larger scale production of spirulina in New Zealand.

 MPI and NZ Algae Innovations will be co-investing more than half a million dollars.

The two-year project involves scaling production to test new growing and processing systems.

It will also research the benefits and opportunities of growing spirulina to support the next steps towards full commercial-scale production.

“We want to understand what consumers are looking for, and whether taking spirulina in powder or capsule form is working for them,” said Justin Hall, director at NZ Algae Innovations.

The project aims to establish a new business model so modular production units can be replicated in potential growing regions across New Zealand.

“Market research shows that consumers, particularly in the northern and western hemispheres, are increasingly looking to add more plant-based protein in their diet and spirulina fits that trend nicely,” said Hall. 

The project will explore ways of maintaining more nutrient content in spirulina by developing different harvesting and processing methods using techniques from other industries.  

Tahi Spirulina production requires less water per unit of protein produced than most alternatives as the spirulina is grown in a contained system that minimises evaporation and prevents leaching.

“Spirulina has a very low carbon and water footprint, so it checks the sustainability box as well,” said Hall.

Steve Penno, Director Investment Programmes at MPI, says establishing an algal protein sector could have considerable benefits for New Zealand.

“Spirulina farming has the potential to create exciting new employment and export opportunities for this country. It would also support the Government's ambition to be carbon neutral by 2050, by offering a new financially viable and sustainable land use option.” 

More like this

Sanctuary closes

A North Canterbury cow sanctuary that was investigated by Ministry of Primary Industries for alleged animal welfare breaches has folded.

Sting in tail of non-compliance

MPI is warning sheep farmers to get up to speed with new animal welfare regulations relating to the docking of sheep which come into force at the end of May. 


Merlo goes greener

Obviously not wishing to get left behind by some of its competitors, Italian manufacturer Merlo is planning to add to its green-liveried telehandler range- with another set of green credentials in the shape of an all-new, all-electric battery-powered Merlo e-Worker model.


Growing a family legacy

What started with planting some acacia trees 25 years ago has become a multi-generational passion for the Hunt family in Te Awamutu.

Moves to improve winter grazing requirements

DairyNZ says it supports recommendations to the Government from an advisory group looking to improve winter grazing rules for farmers and achieve better environmental outcomes.


Machinery & Products

Good growth year for Claas

While many sectors of the agricultural machinery were hit by the ravages of Covid-19, the effects of the pandemic did…

Green machine frugal on fuel

According to the industry respected independent DLG PowerMix test, John Deere appears to be the best choice of tractor for…

App takes pressure off

TRS Tyre & Wheel, owned by Trelleborg Wheel Systems, has introduced the TLC Plus App to the New Zealand market.

New MF 5S series arrives

Just before Christmas, Massey Ferguson quietly released details of the successor to its popular MF 5700S range in the shape…

» The RNG Weather Report

» Latest Print Issues Online

The Hound


Your old mate reckons the nomination of the New Zealand Dairy Industry Awards (NZDIA) management team as a finalists in…

Good riddance!

The Hound reckons 2021 is off to a rollicking start with news that professional whinger and anti-farming drone Martin Taylor…

» Connect with Rural News

» eNewsletter

Subscribe to our weekly newsletter