Mushroom farming is gaining popularity at a time when the coronavirus pandemic in Zimbabwe has left many people jobless. More and more people are turning their backyards into smart farmhouses, growing mushrooms.
With Zimbabwe’s economy still struggling, many people have become suppliers of the vegetarian ‘ground meat’. Emerging mushroom farmers in Zimbabwe’s cities help supply the affordable nutritional needs their countrymen.
But city farming also carries headaches for growers, because buyers of the delicacy often underprice their product. One grower said: “Prices in Zimbabwe are not favorable and are determined by the buyer, thereby undermining the farmer. Over the years, as growers, we have tried to set a market price, but the buyers have not been keen to engage with us and understand the process of growing.”
Government agricultural officers, like David Charwara, based in Chinhoyi, are skeptical of urban mushroom farming. “Mushroom is a particular crop with distinct growing conditions. Most urban dwellers will be lucky to have a taste of it, as the natural conditions for growing mushrooms are a rarity in our towns,” Charwara told Anadolu Agency.
For Charwara, even as many mushroom growers like Choto and Munautsi soldier on with their venture, they face stiff competition from the mushrooms shooting up in the wilderness. “The number of mushrooms which grow in our bushes each year can’t be quantified,” said Charwara.
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