Mushroom farmers during a training session at Mkono farm near Kampala Uganda. Networking has helped the growers share information without necessarily travel from one country to the other. Photo courtesy.
A networking programme between Kenya and Uganda mushroom farmers to enable the growers exchange knowledge and share their experiences in the venture is saving them training costs as they can now access the training in their various countries without necessarily having to travel as was before.
The programme that was launched late last year by Delicious Mushrooms Kenya, a mushroom training and consultant company, located at African Creative Centre (Karen Village), Nairobi, has brought on board 6,000 players including farmers, buyers and agronomists among others.
“Before, farmers in Uganda used to come to Nairobi almost every month to train on mushroom farming. They would spend over Sh5,000 on transport excluding food, accommodation and training fees. This was quiet expensive and that is why we decided to adopt a cheaper plan,” said Roussoss Odhiambo, the company’s CEO and founder.
In this programme, the farmers, both in Uganda and Kenya are brought together on a WhatsApp group through which they are set free to interact by asking question, share their experiences and market linkages in what Odhiambo call bridging information gap among most smallholder farmers in the East Africa region and beyond.
“Lack of enough and relevant information among many farmers especially on better farm practices has proven to be another big setback in attaining food security and eliminating poverty among them. It is for this reason we are trying through this programme to bridge the gap,” he said.
In addition, the company has identified some Kenyan mushroom farmers in Uganda who have been growing the produce and linked them with their Ugandan counterparts during training sessions on a quarter acre farm at Mkono area near Kampala, Uganda.
The sessions are part of monthly networking events conducted every second Friday of the month when the company sends team to the area for a networking forum to connect, network, share & answer you’re the farmers’ questions.
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To book a slot, farmers are required to send the word “UGANDA” to +254 705 210 033 /+254 735 803 239. The same numbers can be used to WhatsApp or text.
“Mushroom growing is on the rise due to changing eating habits and increased awareness about the mushroom health benefits. Its growing in Uganda is on the rise and that is why Delicious Mushrooms Kenya is out to help the upcoming farmers understand the practice,” said Odhiambo.
The company also offers the same training to Kenyan farmers at Karen Village in Nairobi where it has another demonstration farm.
Odhiambo can be reached on +254 705 210033