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Sunday, July 14, 2024

Mutare residents venture into mushroom production

Story by Kenias Chivuzhe

Mushroom farming is gaining traction in urban areas, with residents of Mutare establishing cooperatives to grow the delicacy at commercial level.

Edible mushrooms are rich in protein and vitamins with their medicinal qualities adding to numerous advantages, but a few farmers have embraced its production due to complicated technical aspects.

This has, however, not stopped the proactive members of a Mutare-based cooperative who have established a viable mushroom project after getting support from the government and other partners.

“We are 50 people and we are registered as a cooperative. We produce fresh mushroom dried, mushroom, we do soups and powder,” said one of the farmers.

Another farmer said, “We used to buy mushrooms from shops but we have discovered that it’s very easy to venture into mushroom production. We have four rooms to produce mushrooms and generate up to US$100 every day.”

The project is part of government initiatives to promote gender-inclusive economic development.

“We have more women and youths as we aim to ensure they contribute towards Vision 2030. Some of the beneficiaries are survivors of gender-based violence. The Mutare city council Mushroom project is going on very well. The group of 50 participants are organised. As Gender Links we are working with many stakeholders such as Zimtrade in supporting the farmers,” said Gender Links regional director, Mrs Priscilla Maposa.

Acting Mutare Town Clerk, Mr Blessing Chafesuka said, “It’s a project where we are empowering our communities in support of government policy and support of the Sustainable Development Goals. As a city, we provided the land and technical assistance, while Gender Links provided US$34 000 with beneficiaries raising US$1 500.”

The government is determined to ensure these empowerment initiatives are replicated across the country as part of efforts to achieve an upper-middle-income society by 2030.

“This is testimony of cordial relations between the government and the private sector. This programme has seen the women producing Mushroom. This can be replicated across the country to advance rural industrialisation,” said Manicaland Minister of State for Provincial Affairs and Devolution, Advocate Misheck Mugadza.

The Minister of Local Government and Public Works, Honourable Daniel Garwe said, “In Mutare, we have horticulture projects. These projects are an all-inclusive development agenda in line with President Mnangagwa’s inclusive development matrix. We are in the season to develop our country.”

The Second Republic is supporting various empowerment initiatives to improve livelihoods in line with the National Development Strategy One and Vision 2030.

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