Local Charities Worldwide

Women in Uganda preparing her mushroom starter kit

A sustainable livelihood: Growing mushrooms in Uganda

Mushroom farming in Uganda? Likely, this is not the first thing to come up when you think about Uganda. Surprise surprise, growing mushrooms in Uganda is a big thing and it helps local communities earn a living! So why are homegrown mushrooms so popular in Uganda? Well let me tell you all about it…

Eco-Agric Uganda: improving the lives of others

Eco-Agric is a local organization that aims to improve the livelihoods of local communities in a sustainable way. They target communities who live in rural areas with limited access to basic facilities like good education and health care. Most of the people in the communities are illiterate, which gives them less possibilities on the job market. But now is the question: how can you empower those people? One of the answers is: mushroom farming! Traditionally, mushrooms were frequently picked in the wild and are very grounded in Ugandan culture. They are even used for medicinal purposes. In 1989 the commercial trade of farmed mushrooms surged with the farming and trade of oyster mushrooms and production has increased ever since. 

Eco Agric started their mushroom farming project in 2010 and has since helped 378 women and 300 girls in Wakiso district to learn how to grow and sell mushrooms. The first year of the project was a full of challenges and learning moments. The harvest failed two times. However, learning by doing, it was discovered that oyster mushrooms were better suitable to grow in the climate and circumstances. In the second year of the project the changes were made and two demonstration sites on how to grow mushrooms where set up. 

Women in Uganda with her mushroom farm

Home grown mushrooms to empower local communities

Eco Agric has been supported by donors and several businesses from the private sector in Uganda to expand their program. Since the start of the mushroom farming project in 2010, 678 women have been trained to grow their own mushrooms and now have their own business.

The homegrown mushrooms (mostly oyster mushrooms) are sold within the communities. This creates a win-win situation: food supply for the people in the communities and a sustainable business and income for the mushroom farmers! The price of a full mushroom farm is $147,20 (or Shs 545,000). This includes all the materials (bags, natural supplements, firewood, water etc) and a dark shed where the mushrooms can grow.

Everyone can easily grow mushrooms for themselves with simply a plastic bucket, grounded coffee and mushroom spores. Too much of a hassle but want to support local communities? Check out their mushroom program and see how you can give!

I think everyone on this earth should have the opportunity for a better life. For me, this starts with local impact and empowerment. With only $147,20 a full mushroom farm is set up. In my opinion the farmers are not only given a local business but also the opportunity to learn and develop themselves and build a road to a better future. And I want to contribute to improve their future. Do you?


Patricia V.

Everybody has something to give. Let’s  start with a smile!