Oyster Mushroom Cultivation: A glimmer of hope for rural communities in southwestern Uganda
The Mushroom Training and Resource Centre (MTRC), a registered Community Based Organisation in Southwestern Uganda, aims at improving the livelihoods for the rural communities through the cultivation of oyster mushrooms. In small, tradtionally built houses, individuals or groups of farmers can grow the mushrooms by themselves.
MTRC acts as a link between mushroom growers and consumers. Farmers can deliver their fresh and dried mushrooms to MTRC. At the MTRC a quality control is conducted to afterwards pack and market the mushroom products professionally. Local restaurants, hotels and supermakrets are our customers.
MTRC runs an independent laboratory where high quality mushroom spawn is produced. Trainings in mushroom growing for interested farmers are being conducted at the Centre. MTRC has a demonstration site with its own mushroom production.
Since 1995 oyster mushrooms (Pleurotus Austreatus) have been grown on a commercial basis in southwestern Uganda. More than 800 active mushroom growers, mostly rural women and youth, are scattered in the the three districs of Kabale, Kanungu and Kisoro. The uniqueness of mushroom growing is, that it can be done with low capital investment, it requires minimal space and it is a home based activity that is environmentally friendly. The agricultural wastes of sorghum, millet, beans, peas, wheat, sawdust and maize can be used as substrates to grow mushrooms. The realtively cool climate in the southwest of Uganda is conducive for fructification. The possibilty of engaging in an income generating activity and the high nutritional and medicinal values of oyster mushrooms, if consumed locally, are of great importance to the poor people. Therefore, mushroom growing in these areas can contribute significantly to their economic growth while achieving lasting improvement for family and community well being.
The oyster mushroom is rich in proteins, low in carbohydrate and fat content, thus highly recommended for people who are obese, diabetic or on diet. Vitamins A, B, C, D and minerals such as Calcium, Potassium, Phosphorus, Iron and Zinc are also contained. Its high nutritional and medicinal values are appreciated by consumers especially in developing world.
The Mushroom Training and Resource Centre (MTRC), a registered CBO has been in operation since 2007. On the 31st of May 2007 a colorful launching of the organisation took place. On this day MTRC officially signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the Uganda Industrial Research Institute (UIRI) for three years.
Thanks to our partners in Switzerland and Liechtenstein for their generous financial support at the inception of MTRC in March 2007, which enabled the purchase of one thousand six hundred, ninety one square metres of land on which MTRC stands today. On the 31st of May 2007 MTRC was officially launched.
We love to express our utmost gratitude to everyone who supported us or will support us in the near future.
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