AGP - Photogallery

Chad: Development of Dihe for Vulnerable Populations

Dihe - a Pilot Project

A Pilot Project of the dihe sector development in Chad is carried out within the Framework Convention EC/FAO contained in the Agreement of Cooperation Chad - European Union. © FAO/Marzio Marzot


Dihe is the local name in Chad for an African group of algae that grows in the regions of Kanem and Lake Chad. The harvesting, sale and human consumption practices of dihe are unique in the world. © FAO/Marzio Marzot

The Lake Chad

Dihé or Spirulina grows in the very peculiar and unique environment of the water pools that form to the northeast of Lake Chad at the end of the rainy season. © FAO/Marzio Marzot

The Lake Chad

is an ecological niche where hardly any other living organism can survive. © FAO/Marzio Marzot

The benefits of Spirulina

The benefits of Spirulina as a low-calorie, high-protein, mineral and vitamin food supplement are now well established and recognized worldwide. © FAO/Marzio Marzot

Studies have shown

that spirulina can lower cholesterol levels, stimulate the immune system and be effective in the treatment of obesity, heart disease, premenstrual stress, arthritis, anaemia and osteoporosis. © FAO/Marzio Marzot

Spirulina is also

a rich source of betacarotene, a natural antioxidant, which the body converts to vitamin A and which plays a protective role in the human organism. © FAO/Marzio Marzot

The harvesting

The harvesting of dihé requires skill and expertise, and the technique, which has been passed down from mother to daughter, represents the culmination of years of experience. © FAO/Marzio Marzot

The traditional processing

of dihe is composed of two steps: collecting and drying dihe on the ground. The dihe is consumed in the form of a sauce and requires a long cooking period, causing the loss of nutrients. © FAO/Marzio Marzot


To overcome this problem, the project has developed a simple method for the preparation of improved dihe that uses local equipment and materials for harvesting, drying and packaging dihe. © FAO/Marzio Marzot

The resulting product

The resulting products are free from sand and impurities and can be consumed dry or fresh without cooking; this process leads also to better nutrient conservation. © FAO/Marzio Marzot

The development of improved dihe

in the production area is modifying harvesting patterns and business practices. Before the project, the improved dihe was unknown by local people and female producers as it has been used in its traditional form for centuries. © FAO/Marzio Marzot

Specific objectives

The specific objectives of the project are improvement of the production quality, promotion of the product marketing, capacity building of female producers, enhancement of the drinking water supply and improvement of the conditions of small-scale livestock and vegetable production as well as income generating activities. © FAO/Marzio Marzot

Core Themes