Nelly Bassily | March 26, 2012
Mushroom cultivation is becoming more popular. Farmers are coming to appreciate that mushrooms are easy to grow, need little space, and can yield good harvests and profits. Consumers enjoy them in a variety of dishes and appreciate their health benefits. Many stories about mushroom growers, like the one we feature this week, show that it is a technique which most people have to learn from the beginning – it is new to them. But the success stories show that it can be mastered, and farmers can benefit, if the necessary inputs and markets are available.
Here are some technical documents and stories of further experiences with growing mushrooms in Africa:
AgFax has produced a number of audio pieces on mushrooms for download. At this link you will find one audio piece, with a full transcript, about women’s groups in The Gambia who grow mushrooms. It is called “Making room for mushrooms”: http://www.agfax.net/radio/detail.php?i=357&s=b
This Farm Radio International script is adapted from an interview broadcast by Classic FM Radio in Ghana. The guest discusses his experience with his new mushroom growing business.
-Mushrooms for Sale (Package 68, Script 4, September 2003) http://www.farmradio.org/english/radio-scripts/68-4script_en.asp
Here are some recent stories from Farm Radio Weekly, all of which tell the stories of successful mushroom producers:
–Kenya: Radio interview with woman mushroom farmer inspires others to grow mushrooms (FRW 188, February 2012) http://weekly.farmradio.org/2012/02/13/kenya-radio-interview-with-woman-mushroom-farmer-inspires-others-to-grow-mushrooms-by-sawa-pius-for-farm-radio-weekly-in-kenya/
-Uganda: Making money with mushrooms (FRW 167, August 2011) http://weekly.farmradio.org/2011/08/08/uganda-making-money-with-mushrooms-spore/
(FRW 57, March 2009) http://weekly.farmradio.org/2009/03/02/2-uganda-mulago-positive-women%E2%80%99s-network-discovers-potential-of-mushroom-cultivation-written-by-joshua-kyalimpa-for-farm-radio-weekly-in-kampala-uganda/
You could produce a special program or spot dedicated to exploring mushroom cultivation. First, find out how common it is in your broadcast region. Visit markets and stores and ask where they source the mushrooms they sell. Or you could ask NGOs, research stations, or the local government. These enquiries may lead you to farmers who grow mushrooms. By interviewing some farmers and talking to stores and vendors, you can develop an interesting program which looks at opportunities for growing and selling mushrooms in your community.