In order to address malnutrition and unemployment in semi-rural Cameroon, we cultivate mushrooms and train subsistence farmers as well people living with HIV. To accomodate the increasing pressure from communities to learn mushroom cultivation we are expanding our farm and training center. Not only are mushrooms a cheap source of protein and an environmentally friendly agriculture product, there is also a strong mushroom market that presents opportunities for employment in an impoverished area.
The population of Kumbo and the surrounding villages relies on subsistence farming of corn and potatoes for survival. As such, the diets of most people are based on starches with no environmentally friendly source of protein. In addition, population growth has pushed farmers to work the land at an unsustainable rate, leading to erosion and soil degredation. Women in particular suffer from this stress, as they are principally responsible for farming and providing food for the family.
Through our small mushroom cultivation and seed production center, we have already trained over 150 farmers, including women and people living with HIV in mushroom cultivation. In order to expand our own mushroom farm, which has become the first year-round source of mushrooms for local people, and to increase our capacity for training and following up with the women's groups and individuals who request training, we will build Shisong's first Mushroom Cultivation and Training Center.
The building will enable us to train and effectively follow up with over 200 subsistence farmers per year. Not only will income from mushrooms support the healthcare and education of their families, but mushroom cultivation will provide a sustainable source of protein for the households. We will increase our rate of cultivation from 10kg to 40 kg of dried mushroom per month which will enable us to offer employment opportunities for youth and women raising money for their education and families.