This solution was shared by PRE-LAUNCH RESEARCH TEAM , 14 May 2021

Print date: 04 September 2022 05:54

Description of the innovative solution

Alternative protein Animal feed Aquaculture Water availability Animal-sourced food Diet diversity Healthy diet Animal husbandry

Environmental and social impacts of animal-derived proteins are high. As the global population grows, there is an increasing need for quality protein that can be produced at a fast pace and at low environmental cost. This solution proposes to cultivate and commercialize duckweed for feed and human food. Duckweed are freshwater plants (Lemna and Wolffia) that grow extremely fast, with low nutrient requirements. They have a high nutritional profile especially regarding protein content and vitamin B12 content. Duckweed grows easily outdoors or indoors. In outdoor settings, duckweed has been proven efficient for eutrophic water purification. They are easy to harvest and can also grow on wastewater. Duckweed could be cultivated for water purification or for the production of high quantity/quality food/feed. Recirculating systems can be used when cultivated indoors. In Northern Thailand (khai-nam), Burma and Laos, Wolffia globosa has been harvested as food for many generations. However, it is still considered as "low-standard" food and hasn't been adopted by other countries. Duckweed resembles in taste to watercress or spinach.

Supply chain segment

Agricultural inputs and primary production practices

Maturity level



Food quality Food affordability Climate mitigation Climate adaptation Water use Reducing pollution

SDG target

SDG 2: Zero Hunger SDG 6: Clean Water and Sanitation


Urban Peri-urban Rural Marine/Coastal

Examples and additional resources

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Additional resources

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Duckweed - a potential high-protein feed resource for domestic animals and fish
Scientific paper
Paper investigating the potential use of duckweed as animal feed. Proteinaceous feed resources are generally in short supply, and in addition are usually the most costly components of the diets of most animals in developing countries. Duckweed presents a protein source that is of great potential for feeding to domestic animals and particularly fish.
Rutgers Duckweed Stock Cooperative Website
Website for the Rutgers Duckweed Stock Cooperative, with background on the plant and additional information, links to other sites, etc..
Shared by IFSS Research Team
Duckweed acceptability of Dutch consumers
Scientific paper
A study on food preferences and perceptions of duckweed for Dutch consumers.
Shared by IFSS Research Team


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