Members wait for Meeting with ALTAP
Epaphroditus Women’s Cooperative is a thirty-member mushroom growing cooperative, in Wakiso District of Uganda with plans to expand their business through increased mushroom production and value addition. In 2020, the group will expand its outgrower scheme, also known as contract farming. They will recruit women in the community to grow mushrooms and buy back the mushrooms at an agreed-upon rate (depending on the prevailing market prices) giving the community women access to a guaranteed market, technical skills, and affordable inputs that lead to additional household income.
In preparation for the increased mushroom production, Africa Development Promise facilitated an exchange visit for the members of Epaphroditus to ALTAP Mushroom Production, a value addition, and business incubation center. The company offers a number of services including hands-on and theoretical training along the mushroom value chain. Their products are sold in supermarkets around Kampala (the capital), i.e., dried and branded mushroom, mushroom flour and soon plan to package a flour blend made of mushroom, sweet potatoes, soybeans, and millet. The target for this fortified blend is schools, hospitals, and refugee camps.
The goal of the exchange visit was to promote sharing of knowledge, information, best practices as well as how best to engage, train and monitor the progress of outgrowers. As a result of the visit, Epaphroditus members decided that they needed training on mushroom spore cultivation/multiplication – this would close their production loop and give them all the skills and resources need for mushroom production.
Purchase mushroom spores but want to cultivate