Rwanda: Mushroom growing transforms lives

It was a gamble, but members of Ibyiringiro Kanyinya Co-operative society are grateful they took the risk. The co-operative, whose members grow mushrooms at Nyamweru cell, Kanyinya Sector in Gasabo District, were previously vending foodstuff at Yanze near the Nyabugogo bus terminal.

The group switched to mushroom growing after it secured funding from Oxfam through Duterimbere Microfinance Bank in 2009, according to Léocadie Mukantarambirwa, the co-operative co-ordinator.

The group, made up of 25 members, 19 women and six men, produces about 1.5 tonnes of fresh mushroom per month or about 400kg weekly.

The project has greatly boosted members' financial muscle, as well as nutritional levels of their families, says Mukantarambirwa.

The co-operative sells the mushrooms to Kigali Farm, a dealership and processor of mushrooms.

The social enterprise (Kigali Farm)works with other farmers, supplies them with farming inputs and provides technical assistance to farmers, Mukantarambirwa adds.

She says mushroom growing has greatly changed members' lives, especially by improving their household income and nutrition levels.

She encourages other Rwandans, especially small farmers, to embrace mushroom growing, noting that besides increasing production, this would provide them an alternative source of income and nutrients.

Source: allafrica.com

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