Kenya mushroom farmers set to benefit from USD1M program rolled out by FAO
A kilo of the mushroom going for between Sh400 and Sh600.
The program targets arid and semi-arid regions due to their harsh climatic conditions aims to supporting mushroom farming.
One such area which has been identified for the programme is Taita Taveta County where women groups have embraced the croup fully and are seen as pioneers among their peers having ventured into mushroom farming unlike their counterparts who are still apprehensive of the relatively new crop in the area.
Mushrooms require minimal water and supervision thus favorable for dry weather conditions often experienced in arid and semi-arid regions.
The women make use of agricultural waste such as maize and bean stalks, straw and maize corn cobs that they collect after harvest.
Although mushrooms are relatively easy to grow, they also require technical know-how to avoid challenges such as low production and contamination.
There are two types of mushrooms namely oyster and button.
Oyster mushrooms are especially productive, and can produce up to 25 pounds per square foot of growing area every year.
Compared to other croups which take months to harvest, mushroom only takes about four weeks from incubation to harvest.
The profits are also larger, these women are expected to produce 940 kilos per week with a kilo of the mushroom going for between Sh400 and Sh600.
Stakeholders are optimistic that though alien, mushroom farming will provide an option to diversify and earn additional income to farmers in Taita Taveta County.
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