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Spirulina farming, project report per 1/4th acre, investment, profit per 1/4th acre, and challenges

There are very less veg options available that have the same or higher percentage of protein than meat. Spirulina is high in protein, quality diet, high in minerals, and we can consume them without cooking. Often, people call it future food. 

There are very less farms of spirulina farming so its market price is very high. The spirulina farming business will become more profitable in the future.

Let's understand the spirulina farming and project report for 1/4th acre.

Spirulina farming 

What is spirulina?

Spirulina is a sea algae. Spirulina contains one of the highest percentages of protein in all diets. Vitamin B, K, antioxidants, and amino acid are some of the other major components of spirulina. One you start spirulina farming, you can harvest for next 5 months without adding or preparing any new culture. 

spirulina farming project report

There are two types of spirulina; human consumption and animal consumption. 

We can harvest animal spirulina in the open-air pond but for human consumption, we use either a polyhouse or shed to cover the pond. 

Spirulina is one of the easiest already prepared diets that we can eat raw and get energy quickly. Some people believe that our future food will be the same as spirulina. 

In markets, spirulina is available in two forms, dry powder, and solid tablets. Both are equally healthy and full of nutrients. 

Is spirulina farming profitable?

In markets, spirulina is available in tablet form. If you sell your spirulina in powder form, then it makes a profit of  100 INR/kg. On the other side, if you sell solid tablets of spirulina, you can earn four times of investment cost per kg. 

In tablet form, it will include your electricity cost labor cost, packaging cost, and transportation cost. But still, spirulina tablets are more profitable than spirulina powder. 

We don't have to wait for either 3 months or more for the first harvesting of spirulina. We can practice the first harvest just after 15 to 18 days of cultivation. 

We can earn a profit every month from the day of the first harvesting. 

The profit margin amount on spirulina farming depends on your investment in the size and quality of the pond you are going to make.

Spirulina cultivation project report 1/4th acre

Here, we are giving you an overview and estimation of cost and profit margin in 1/4th acre of land. The following is about spirulina cultivation for human consumption. Let's start with the requirements first- 

Requirements to grow spirulina

In a 1/4th acre, the following are the basic requirements for spirulina farming.-

Polyhouse cover

In a 1/4th acre of area, we need to fix the polyhouse cover for spirulina farming. We can make a 25x40 square meter area polyhouse cover for ponds. 

You just have to make a poly sheet cover polyhouse, a glass greenhouse is not necessarily required and it adds unnecessary cost. 

The polyhouse must have exhaust space to maintain inside temperature. 

Water pH

For spirulina, we need to maintain water pH between 8.1 to 10.3. The spirulina grows in seawater, so to match the same pH we use chemical compounds as sodium bi carbonate, magnesium sulphate, ammonium phosphate,  potassium sulphate, etc. These compounds convert the normal water into alkaline water and increase the overall pH of water. 

Spirulina seeds

It depends on your reach and what quality of spirulina seed you are buying. In 1000 liter of alkaline water, 2.5 kg of dry spirulina seed is required for basic production. 

Cement tank

In a 1/4th acre area, it is possible either to make two ponds of 10x40 square meters with proper working space inside polyhouse. 

It is always better to make a cement tank by digging in the ground. 1.5 meters deep, 40 meters in width, and 10 meters in length are enough to make a cement tank. Both of the ponds are the same in size and measurement. 

By outlining from bricks and cement, it is always long-lasting and good to maintain the temperature in the spirulina pond.

Tarpaulin tank

Tarpaulin tank measurements are as same as the cement tank but there is a difference in the construction process. We use tarpaulin sheets instead of cement and bricks. We fix the boundaries of the tarpaulin with the help of tight ropes.

Tarpaulin sheet pond is easy and faster to construct. But the extra problem we face with tarpaulin sheets is that they get hot quicker than cement ponds and increase the overall water temperature.

Aerator

One of the most scientific and easy working things we use in spirulina farming is an aerator. We use an aerator to maintain the temperature level at the same point. 

The aerator transfers the water from bottom to top and top to bottom. Thus none of the layers of pond water don't feel an increase in the temperature. 

For each pond, we can use a 1 hp aerator. The aerator also helps to mix the salts in the water. 

Electric motor pump and pipeline connection

At the time of harvesting, we need a faster way to collect moist spirulina. It is not simple to collect them directly with the help of a manual net. 

To make things easy, we use a motor pump to pull the spirulina water outside. 

We fix a motor with a 4 inches pipeline that collects the water in a container outside the pond and the container sends back the water in the pond after collecting the spirulina through the pipelines. It is a fully automatic process that makes things so easy. 

Cotton net

We use cotton nets to cover the face of the pipe before collecting the spirulina. It restricts the dust and other particles to collect with the spirulina. 

For water draining, we can use a net of 1 nm and for spirulina collection, we use the general cotton net to drain the water and collect the spirulina. 

Spirulina grinder

After drying, spirulina become solid and need to be a grind. 

The spirulina grinder converts the dry spirulina into spirulina powder. It is not a heavy machine. You can consider it as a smaller version of the wheat grinder. 

How to dry spirulina?

After collecting spirulina in a container, we dry it before selling it for a longer period. The purpose is to dry the maximum moisture from the spirulina and prepare it for grinding. 

We can't take a risk of open-air drying because of dust and pollution. So we use a manual drier.

It is necessary to dry spirulina slowly otherwise you can either burn or decrease the value of spirulina. 

Spirulina farming license

Let us tell you the important note before starting spirulina farming. It doesn't matter that you have proper knowledge and practice for spirulina farming. It doesn't matter that you know the business process. If you don't have a government approved license, then you can't start a spirulina farm. 

You need to have an approved license at least from the 'Food Safety and Standards Authority of India'(FSSAI).

Packaging and marketing of spirulina 

We sell spirulina either in powder form or make their tablets. To make tablets, we use automatic machines. 

In a comparison of powder spirulina, tablet spirulina prices are very high in markets. 

We pack powder and tablets both in the moisture-free small boxes. We can also use small plastic bags according to their weight. 

For the marketing of spirulina, we can use online platforms. We can run manual ads for our products by investing some money.

These days, online selling is increasing faster. You can register your farm with an approved license on those platforms and start to sell your spirulina. 

Challenges of spirulina farming

Although it looks simple and straight process of spirulina harvesting if you are a beginner then you are going to face the following challenges-

Spirulina quality maintenance

It is a major challenge to maintain the quality of spirulina. Sometimes people compromise with the quality of seed because of faster results. Many times they lose their patience and harvest spirulina before giving them proper time. 

It is found that many spirulina beginners keep the place and pond unhygienic for spirulina farming hence it reduces the quality of spirulina. 

It is a major challenge to avoid basic mistakes and follow the proper process of growing spirulina for beginners. 

Water temperature control

It is not the right way to check the temperature by touching or measuring the upper temperature of the water. 

We can't finalize the overall temperature of the water just by touching the upper layer.  

Some people don't use aerators in their spirulina farms and take them lightly. But it is not good in the long term to avoid aerators. These are those basic mistakes that affect the overall growth and production.

Water pH control

To make the water salty, we use many salt compounds. It increases the water pH between 8.1 to 10.3.

We use all the salts after checking the current pH and TDS of the water. You can't just implement the ratio of salts directly before checking the current condition of the water. Beginners do the same mistake in starting spirulina farming.

Spirulina yield per 1/4th acre 

  • Water in one spirulina pond- 600 cubic meters
  • Total water in all ponds- 1200 cubic meters

Total moist spirulina extraction- 7 kg/day 

Total dry spirulina- 3kg/day

Spirulina cultivation investment per 1/4th 

One-time investment

  • Polyhouse cost- 30,000 INR
  • Water tank cost(cement and bricks)- 50,000 INR(2 ponds)  
  • Water tank cost(tarpaulin)- 20,000 INR(2 ponds)
  • Aerator cost- 9,000 INR(2 pieces)
  • Electric motor pump cost- 5,000 INR

Total cost with cement tank- 94,000 INR

Total investment with tarpaulin tank- 64,000 INR

Per cycle investment(5 months)

  • Seeds cost- 500 INR
  • Water preparation cost- 20,000 INR
  • Labor cost- 40,000 INR/5 month
  • Electricity cost- 5,000 INR/5 month

Total per cycle cost(5 months)- 65,500 INR

Total investment per month- 13,100 INR

The profit margin on spirulina cultivation per 1/4th acre

  • Price of 1kg dry spirulina- 400 INR
  • The total yield produced per month- 90 kg to 100 kg 
  • The total price of yield per month- 36,000 INR to 40,000 INR 

The profit margin on 1/4th acre of land- 22,900 INR to 26,900 INR

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