Mushroom farming in Uganda

A mushrooming price for beauty …

Our partners Signhealth Uganda report on why mushrooms are continuing to cause a lot of excitement in and around Masaka District in the South-Central Region of Uganda…

Sharing success

Training parents on mushroom growing in UgandaBetty, a parent herself to a deaf child and the subject of the initial report on mushroom growing here on the website, was thrilled to learn that her story featured in the autumn edition of Signal’s newsletter, Wave.

She recently addressed a group of parents from across the Masaka area to share this story. These were parents of deaf and hearing impaired children who have come to together to form support groups. Members not only support each other emotionally but also economically, in this case, through the cultivation of Oyster mushrooms.

Following training from an experienced mushroom grower, Betty took the group through the processes involved in mushroom cultivation. From receiving the first seeds, creating the “brooder” necessary for their growth and then waiting for the spores to develop.

Betty noted that in watching the mushrooms grow, “every day sees something interesting like a flower garden.” As the photographs show, they are indeed both unusual and beautiful.

Supporting education

Mushroom garden in UgandaFrom her first harvest, Betty cooked some of these highly nutritious mushrooms, sun dried some and sold both dried and fresh mushrooms to the local communities around her.

With these sales from her first harvest of mushrooms, Betty was able to purchase two dozen books to support her deaf son’s education. This first harvest continued to provide both nutrition and income for a few weeks, as the mushrooms can be picked on a “cut-and-come-again” basis.

Betty is now the leading light in the successful cultivation of these mushrooms and is full of good advice to newcomers wishing to start up their own mushroom gardens. Four groups have already started harvesting their own mushrooms thanks to Betty’s assistance – both parent groups and those based at schools, totalling over 50 people.

Drying mushrooms in UgandaBeauty or beautiful mushrooms?

Betty concluded her address by highlighting one particularly important element that she has learned about successful mushroom growing. Namely, the need to keep the growing mushrooms away from all strong odours.

This includes food and animals but also all lotions and beauty products, and Betty said that she has “stopped being good looking” as she has learned to put aside all such products!

She also made it very clear that the end results are worth it!

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