The last few weeks have seen the expansion of the Suubi mushroom project really taking off.
Parents from two of our Ugandan partner schools, Omoding PS and Sharon PS, have shown a real commitment, over a number of months, to demonstrate how keen they are to learn the skills of mushroom growing. These two schools will now become satellite centres for Suubi, whereby both the school itself and the parents will be able to earn an income from their mushroom growing. This is bound to alleviate some of the pressure associated with school fees, educational expenses and purchasing resources for the school.
As both of these schools are quite a distance from Suubi, it required the school community to build a mushroom house at their respective schools. The inexpensive construction is made from bush poles, local vines, mud, and is finished off with a grass roof.
Omoding parents hard at work constructing a mushroom house earlier this year.
Sharon Primary Schools completed mushroom house.
These houses at the schools are now being used as part of the demonstration as parents and teachers take on the practical training. Eventually they will be where the schools mushrooms are grown from.
With their mushroom house complete, interested parents from both schools undertook the theoretical training earlier this year and just last week, they completed the practical training. Each step of the process to successfully grow mushrooms was clearly explained and then demonstrated to them by the ladies from Suubi Centre.
Namirembe Rose, from Suubi Centre, passes on skills of how break apart the mushroom spore to parents at Omoding Primary School.
The Suubi Ladies demonstrate how to pack polythene bags with coffee husks in readiness for planting the mushroom spore.
Hands on training gave all the participants an opportunity to distribute mushroom spore into coffee husk filled bags of their own. They will now be able to watch as the crop progresses.
And then the bags were placed on racks inside the mushroom houses.
The newly planeted spore will remain in complete darkness inside the mushroom house for approximately 2 weeks. At this point, tiny mushrooms will start to appear from the holes which were made in the polythene bags and they will simply require watering each morning and night. Within a month the schools will be able to start harvesting their mushrooms!
With the full training now complete, parents from each of the schools are starting to construct mushroom houses at their own homes. Solar mushroom driers have been provided at each of the schools and these will be available for all participating school community members to use.
The mushroom solar drier at Sharon PS under construction.
Omoding teachers and parents check out their new solar drier.
With three groups (Suubi Centre, Omoding PS and Sharon PS) all participating in mushroom growing we now have a greater capacity to grow larger quantities. Our aim is to find additional markets closer to Suubi Centre, in addition to the dried mushroom we currently ship to western Uganda for export sale. This of course will mean a greater profit for all those involved. What a wonderful outcome!
Check out the progress after just 3 short weeks!