JST Top > Science and Technology Research Partnership for Sustainable Development > Projects >

Eco-engineering for Agricultural Revitalization Towards improvement of Human nutrition (EARTH): Water Hyacinth to Energy and Agricultural Crops


Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia

Eco-engineering for Agricultural Revitalization Towards improvement of Human nutrition (EARTH): Water Hyacinth to Energy and Agricultural Crops

Use aquatic plant biomass as a valuable resource, and solve ecosystem, social, and health problems all at once

  • SDGs15
  • SDGs02
  • SDGs09

Principal Investigator

    • Prof.
      SATO Shinjiro

      Department of Science and Engineering for Sustainable Innovation, Faculty of Science and Engineering, Soka University
    • researchmap
    • Assoc. Prof.
      Solomon Addisu Legesse

      College of Agriculture and Environmental Sciences, Bahir Dar University

ODA Recipient Country

Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia

Research Institutions in Japan

Soka University / The University of Shiga Prefecture / Lake Biwa Environmental Research Institute

Research Institutions in Counterpart Country

Bahir Dar University / Injibara University / Lake Tana and Other Water bodies Protection and Development Agency

Adoption fiscal year

FY 2020

Research Period

5 Years

Overview of the Research Project

Development of technologies for converting water hyacinth to energy, nutrients and agricultural products
Utilizing remote sensing and AI technology, the project will develop a sustainable harvesting model for water hyacinth, which is partly choking Ethiopia’s largest lake, Lake Tana. The aim is to use methane fermentation treatment to recover energy and nutrients from the harvested water hyacinth, use the recovered energy and nutrients for mass cultivation of microalgae (spirulina) that are attracting attention as a superfood, and develop nutritional supplements derived from spirulina together with local companies. Integrating interdisciplinary research conducted in Japan, we will work to establish technologies for the effective utilization of waste materials as valuable resources.

Help improve health and nutrition in Ethiopia to address the wide-ranging issue of “hidden hunger”
We aim to build a sustainable water hyacinth management system using ICT, providing a model for approaches using water hyacinth to eventually solve ecosystem and social problems. In addition, the development of spirulina-derived dietary supplements and adoption of such supplements in Ethiopia will help to alleviate the country’s health and nutrition problems.

Photo gallery


Aerial view of water hyacinth overgrowth on Lake Tana (about 500km2 of overgrowth, or one sixth of the lake’s surface)


Cultivating spirulina in a raceway pond


Crushing and pressing water hyacinth after harvesting

Research Project Web site

Press Release


Page Top