Sunday, October 23, 2011

Bahir Dar reporting series : can mushrooms save the world?

Mushrooms are very funny plants, and can potentially save the world. Here is a very inspiring TED talk, that inspired me a lot

I liked the idea that mushrooms can save the world, but issues are very different in Ethiopia where farmers in Ethiopia face food insecurity, and have a lack of proteins  in their diet

When I was walking in the fields, I remembered this inspiring talk... . Mushrooms sound like a miracle solution in Ethiopia too : it is a source of protein and relatively easy to grow... so I dug into it. I met a very interesting lecturer at Bahir Dar University. He started his own company that produces mushrooms spores, and he gives training people to grow mushrooms. He focuses on urban areas, where people grow mushrooms for the big hotels in Bahir Dar.
See the website of the company
Mushrooms, both in Addis and Bahir Dar are very scarce and when available there are very expensive. If one manages to build up a well functioning short supply chain, then it is a very good business that could lift some people out of poverty.
But even without market access, mushroom could complete a diet in a subsistence farm household and contribute to food security. So I am now wondering, what are there ways to bring mushrooms to Ethiopian rural areas as a real pro-poor solution? My former housemate in the Netherlands, grows a lot of mushrooms with very simple techniques. I hope to have some time soon to check what would be needed to adjust these simple techniques to Ethiopian conditions, in which one needs to consider water shortages, as well as a very restricted set of available inputs to grow mushrooms.

1 comment:

  1. Hi Catherine. If you are currently in Ethiopia let us resume from what we have stopped so that we can do something to introduce mushrooms into the rural Ethiopia.
    Kiflemariam Yehuala