Why Josephine Nakakande (Eco-Agric Uganda) promotes mushroom growing for income generation among poor women in Uganda
Josephine is a daughter to a teacher and a house wife. She has four brothers and three sisters. That means they are eight children at home. At home, they use to live with two or three relatives hence, in their home, there were a total of twelve to thirteen people each time.
Since Josephine’s father was a teacher, he was the only bread earner. So the money the father earned as a salary was used for everything at home including food, clothing, education, medical care, home care and any other thing. This means the resource envelope was very small, which prompted Josephine’s mother to think outside the box.
Josephine’s mother didn’t have any qualifications and hence would not get employed. What she thought of was growing crops since it’s what she used to see at their home. So Josephine’s mother decided to get involved in farming. Though this was not supported by Josephine’s father, her mother went to her home place, picked an old hoe and started growing crops. She started by growing maize, beans and cassava in the school land. After six months, it was celebration at home as there was enough food at home gotten from the garden.
After six months, there was enough food at home which gave Josephine’s mother confidence that farming was the solution.
After having food, Josephine’s mother started farming for income which involved growing vegetables like cabbages, tomatoes, onions and many other things. It was always a happy moment seeing our mother get money from the sale of vegetables as this provided constant money supply at home. This money was used by Josephine’s mother to buy scholastic materials plus other things needed at home. Therefore, at home there was enough food and money as a result of farming. Josephine’s mother sold vegetables to buy chicken goats and latter a cow all from farming. It is from farming that Josephine’s mother was able to get constant income and food for the home, while their fathers salary was used for school fees. The very first cow bought by Josephine’s mother from the savings out of farming, was sold off as Josephine joined high school. Had Josephine’s mother not gotten involved in farming for food security and income, then it would have been very hard for Josephine to join high school
Looking at the contribution Josephine’s mother made at home from farming for income and food, Josephine chose to share and promote her mother’s story. Josephine is very passionate about women economic empowerment.
Josephine discovered that since Eco-Agric Uganda aims at sustainably improving livelihoods of the critically vulnerable and absolutely poor women especially the women youths and the children, yet;
Mushrooms are very simple to grow, have high health benefits, and very high market demand.
It is a fun, low-cost hobby and raw materials are cheap and readily available.
Cultivation can be done in small spaces and oyster mushrooms mature fast; within four weeks from inoculation.
Hence, mushrooms are easy and quick for poverty recovery.
As the vision, mission and goal are:
Vision: A healthy and empowered population living in a sustainable environment.
Mission: To improve community livelihoods through rights empowerment, sustainable agricultural production; environmental conservation; health education and promotion; economic empowerment and nutrition; skills development; and educational support.
Goal: To contribute to improved livelihoods of communities and health outcomes in Uganda.
Eco-Agric Uganda (Josephine Nakakande) is requesting for your generosity to 500 women grow mushrooms for food security and income. Please Donate to support rural poor Ugandan women growing mushrooms for income and food.
Though Josephine first learnt about mushroom growing in 2008, she started promoting mushroom growing for food and income among women in 2010. Since inception, Josephine Nakakande through Eco-Agric Uganda, has trained 1528 women to get involved in commercial mushroom growing.
With your support,
572 women have been trained to grow mushrooms and are growing mushrooms; 134 women are able to pay school fees and provide food for their children through mushroom growing; 397 women have been given mushroom spawn. each getting 60 – 90 packets; Received a flow hood and induction switch; Farmers are harvesting hence substrate is in abundancy; Monitoring of women has been done by Eco Agric Uganda staff; twenty-four students, ten from Makerere and fourteen from Kayunga institute were trained in mushroom growing and children at San Martino have started growing mushrooms
With your support, a mushroom growing centre has been built where quality spawn is being produced. Weekly, 482 packets of mushroom spawn benefiting 35 people are made.
After training women in mushroom growing and learning how to produce good quality spawn, Josephine Nakakande with Eco-Agric Uganda would like to support women increase on mushroom production with a target of women producing 270 thousand tonnes by July 2023. This will improve food security, nutrition and income while also creating jobs.
What Josephine Nakakande is Up To
Josephine Nakakande and Eco-Agric Uganda would like to finalise with constructing a mushroom training and growing center. It is built and well roofed, remaining with putting doors, windows plastering and finishing. It is housing a grow rooms, spawn production room, a retail space, as well as support local training in mushroom production.
Mushroom operations are growing from providing local, fresh mushrooms, to having our own retail space for mushroom enthusiasts and hobby cultivators, to housing a mushroom production education center where training on mushroom growing will be done.
It is my dream to not only share my mushroom growing to Ugandans, but also to teach the whole world about the life cycle and environmentally impactful benefits of mushroom cultivation. Hosting school trips and doing in-class lessons will be part of this.
How Your Donations Will Help
With your donations I will be able to accelerate my and Eco-Agric Ugandas mushroom growing activities and be serving the whole country by early December 2022! Anyone that donates to help the mushroom growing house construction will receive our undying gratitude of a local hand craft materials made of back cloth, showing " Ugandan Mushroom growing HERO.
Use Of Funds
Finishing inside and outside which involves cement, sand and water to plaster needs $7500
Fitting which includes windows, doors and frames needs $674.2
Equipping the mushroom house and training more women for improved mushroom production needs $7542
$10 buys one bag of cement
$50 buys one lorry of sand
$30 pays transport for the materials (bricks and sand to the site)
Image CaptionAll funds will be used to support women grow mushrooms for food security and income. For any donation you make you will be thanked by Josephine the girls and women publicly on our social media platforms and you will also get a thank you note/card from the girls/women or children.