24-05-2017 08:00 AM | MIND Correspondent | My Indian Dream
This non-flowering plant is rich in nutrition and helps to fight anaemia and malnutrition.
This botany professor has taken ahead, her love for botany to another level. Taking ahead her knowledge of plants from the book, 77-year-old Pushpa Srivastava has emphasized the importance of green alga - a nonflowering plant which is rich in nutrition.
Srivastava travels to Burthal Village in Jaipur and guides women working at a pond to grow this plant called Spirulina. With the help of funds from biotechnology department, she started a project to grow this plant in the year 1999 but soon after four years, the project came to a halt.
Going ahead of this project, Srivastava started Manjul Spirulana Samwardhan Sansthan as a secretary and supports women to grow this non-flowering plant.
Srivastava used to teach at the University of Rajasthan retired in the year 2011 but believed that this otherwise known as bookish knowledge should go beyond that.
As a part of this project while few women stir the pond others collect algae which are dried and grounded to powder. The pond produced 20 kg of algae and its powder is used in making Papad, napkin and biscuits. These products are then supplied to customers. Srivastava noted the importance of this plant in fighting malnutrition, anemia and also some disease and as Rajasthan is suitable to grow algae, many pharmaceutical companies demand this plant for food and supplements. Spirulina priced between Rs 700 to Rs 1500 needs bright sunlight and temperature between 20 degrees to 36 degrees celsius.
She informed,“In India, the alga is grown in southern parts; I am the only one who is growing spirulina in Rajasthan, as of now,”
“I want people to grow the alga but in 17 years, no one came forward to learn it. I work with 14 village women and pay them every month ₹1000 each, but even they have not shown any interest in taking up spirulina cultivation,” she further added.
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