Mushrooms are easily grown and are sold at a good price. TAFU has a track record with mushroom growing through a previous one off grant from Catholic Swiss League of Women.

Oyster mushroom spores can be purchased from Makerere University laboratory, Kampala. They are grown in cotton husks available from cotton factories known as ginneries. The husks are steamed over a drum to kill any bugs or bacteria. The spores and the husks are mixed together and are placed in polythene bags that are kept hanging for one week in a cool room to incubate.
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The bags are then split and the husks watered 4 times a day for 21 days. The mushrooms will start developing suddenly and can then be harvested. One bag may produce one to one and a half kilos of mushrooms once a day for up to three weeks. Harvesting is a busy time as the mushrooms grow quickly and if left will kill the remaining spores.

A kilo of fresh mushrooms sells for at least UG s 5,000. The mushrooms can also be dried and sold for UGs 7,000 a kilo. The mushrooms can also supplement the diet of the older person. They are sold to supermarkets.

The older person keeps a record of the quantity of mushrooms grown, sold and eaten.

TAFU initially supplies the older women with the spores, drums for steaming, husks and polythene bags and trains them in the process. Once the women have gone through the process of preparing, harvesting and selling, they are now in a position to grow the mushrooms independently.

$25 US will enable one older woman to start a mushroom project that will generate $2 a day for 30 days =$60. After putting aside $25 for expenses for the next production, the older woman has made a profit of $35 for the month. If an older person grows mushrooms for half the year the initial cost of $25 will generate $210 US dollars.

Sponsor an older woman to grow mushrooms.