At least 20% of the women in Southwestern Uganda are living on less than one dollar per day; have less than one meal a day which is usually porridge without sugar and their children do not go to school.
The women are illiterate, their children do not go to school, while those that manage to take children to school their children arrive late and leave early at school because of hunger
Josephine Nakakande through Eco-Agric Uganda has worked with 120 absolutely poor women to break the poverty cycle through the commercial mushroom growing in Uganda.
In Uganda, Pleurotus Austreatus (Oyster Mushroom) is majorly grown commercially; other mushroom varieties are only picked from the wild and sold in small markets. Since 1995, Pleurotus Austreatus (oyster mushrooms) have been grown commercially by women and youth. FAO, 2010 Uganda report mentions that mushrooms are increasingly being considered as a substitute for meat owing to a large population below the poverty line since mushrooms are inexpensive and greatly improve health and reduce food insecurity.
Since mushroom growing is simple, requires not a big land & labor, it can be done anywhere, in the back yard, small rooms, grass-thatched houses, etc. it is good one of the good options for income generation.
Mushroom marketing system in Uganda
The mushroom market in Uganda is often limited to supermarkets, with a few markets in the community around the grower. The East African and International markets reports show that mushroom exports from Uganda are not yet competitive compared to other countries.
Production of mushrooms, especially oyster mushrooms in Uganda, has gone up in recent years but it has also worsened its marketing problems. There are no serious efforts to promote the product, to strengthen and expand the market to increase production and consumption. No availability of high-quality mushroom spawn in Uganda and enough to satisfy the available market. The marketing of fresh mushrooms would determine the future of the mushroom industry in Uganda.
Major consideration before start-up
Training, marketing, value addition, quality of seeds / Spawn, hygiene (General) Startup with 200 gardens
The 120 women have been trained to start commercial mushroom growing. Four mushrooms demonstration sites were set up at four women’s households identified/selected by the beneficiaries. After the training, women were given 8 drums, 240 Sackets of mushroom spawn, 240 bags of substrate (with each woman getting 2 bags) 120 watering cans, 240 kgs of maize brand, and 2 bags of lime to start commercial mushroom production
After one month, each woman made a profit of $4-$6 and have food worth $2-$3 per day. After three months, each woman earned a profit of $120-$180 per month with enough food for home consumption from the sale of the mushrooms and vegetables. Savings made from mushrooms helped women support girls to stay in school.
Use of Funds
The funds were used as follows:_
To train women, in mushroom growing $230
set up 4 demonstration sites of mushrooms growing $580
Buy Startup materials for mushroom growing $786.80
Buy materials to start producing spawn $948
4 drums for steaming the substrate (one per group) $680
120 watering cans (one watering per farmer) $368
240 sackets of mushroom spawn (Two sackets per farmer) $867
240 bags of substrate (Two sacks per farmer) $3269.8
2 bags of lime (shared among women) $38.1
Bottles of Jik $490.5
Empty bottles $190.7
Bottles of spirits $327.0
Total Amount needed $ 8797.7
The New Campaign
Please join Mushroom growing in Uganda and become a Knot in Mushroom growing! Donate to support rural poor Ugandan women growing mushrooms for income and food.
Who We Are
My name is Josephine Nakakande. I am passionate about women and girl child empowerment. Working with Eco-Agric Uganda an organisation I and others founded in 2007, I use the mushrooms to improve the livelihoods of the women and girls in Uganda. I have been promoting mushroom growing for livelihood improvement among the rural poor people in Uganda.
Though Josephine first learnt about mushroom growing in 2008, she started promoting mushroom growing for food and income among women in 2010. Since then, through Eco-Agric Uganda, she has trained 928 women and so far over 681 women supported by Josephine are involved in commercial mushroom growing.
With support from you my lovely friends, Josephine Nakakande has learnt making her spawn, that from January 2021, Josephine has made spawn for over 267 farmers which have improved mushroom production. Weekly, she makes 250 packets of mushrooms that benefit 25 people.
After training women in mushroom growing and learning how to produce good quality spawn, Josephine Nakakande with Eco-Agric Uganda would like to support women increase mushroom production with a target of women producing 270 thousand tonnes by July 2023. This will improve food security, nutrition, and income while also creating jobs.
What Josephine Nakakande is Up To
Josephine Nakakande and Eco-Agric Uganda are securing a building that will be devoted to Mushroom growing. It will house grow rooms, spawn production room, a retail space, as well as support local training in mushroom production.
Mushroom operations will grow from providing local, fresh mushrooms, to having our own retail space for mushroom enthusiasts and hobby cultivators, to housing a mushroom production education center where training on mushroom growing will be done.
It is my dream to not only share my mushroom growing to Ugandans but also to teach the whole world about the life cycle and environmentally impactful benefits of mushroom cultivation. Hosting school trips and doing in-class lessons will be part of this.
How Your Donations Will Help
With your donations, I will be able to accelerate my and Eco-Agric Ugandas mushroom growing activities and be serving the whole country by early April 2021! Anyone that donates to help the mushroom growing house construction will receive our undying gratitude of local handcraft materials made of backcloth, showing ” Ugandan Mushroom growing HERO.
Use of Funds
Construction to the wall plate which involves buying cement, sand, and bricks needs $4,150
Finishing inside and outside which involves cement, sand, and water to plaster needs $7500
Roofing plus putting a cardboard ceiling which involves timber, nails, iron sheets, and others needs $3208
Fitting which includes windows, doors, and frames need $674.2
Equipping the mushroom house and training more women for improved mushroom production needs $7542
$10 buys one bag of cement
$50 buys one lorry of sand
$10 buys 100 bricks
$90 buys 1000 bricks
$30 pays transport for the materials (bricks and sand to the site)
Please find a report about mushroom growing by EcoAgric Uganda