Duckweed key to solving global food production issues

$100,000 worth of funding has been given to Team Exatio, made up of QUT post-graduate students, for a plan to double global food production by harvesting the aquatic plant duckweed.

Provided by leading food facilities design and engineering company Wiley as part of the 2015 Global Business Challenge, the prize provides professional support to assist the team in progressing their idea to the next stage.

According to Team Exatio member David Martin, Lemna known as duckweed, is an alternative plant-based protein solution that can be used as feedstock for animals.

“Every year around the world we are losing 120 million hectares of arable land to grow animal feedstocks. So by using non-arable land to grow new feedstocks like duckweed, we can save that arable land to grow food that people need,” Martin said.

Indicating positive news for meeting the demands of global food supply, the protein-rich plant can duplicate every two to three days –encouraging the team to further develop the concept as a sustainable food source for intensive animal farming.

By taking the new approach to processing food for farming, Team Exatio hoped to address a number of key challenges facing global food production including water quality and land availability. 

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