Mushroom Spawn and Production Project

Location: Kasese, Uganda


The effects of climate change, in particular the acute drought conditions are drastically affecting the food production base of rural women farmers in Kasese, Uganda. The shortage of food is causing a spike in prices, increasing the burden on local agriculture supply lines and causing many to go hungry.  There is a growing need for new approaches to guarantee sufficient food supplies for the women and their communities in Kasese district, western Uganda and to develop Innovations in farming to protect the land and environment from further degradation. 

The combination of food insecurity and poverty has had a devastating effect on the rural women of Kasese district. Women are engaging in prostitution as a means of survival and to put food on the table for their children, a practice exposing them to the dangers of unplanned pregnancies and scourge of HIV/AIDS. 

Benefits of Mushroom Spawn and Production

Hope for Rural Women conducted an assessment in October 2015 looking into the urgent needs of the rural women especially those affected by HIV/AIDS. These women face the double trauma of not having enough food to eat, due to increased food insecurity and the social stigma of being HIV positive or living with AIDS. Despite the introduction of free Anti Retroviral Drugs by the government of Uganda, many women are still dying because they are unable to reach the health facilities to collect the medicine.

One of the solutions to improve financial independence for this group of women is to develop a Mushroom Spawn and Production Project. This locally led initiative will provide a source of income enabling these women to travel to hospitals at a distance from their homes to pick up their HIV drugs, receiving treatment from qualified staff and enjoy reduced stigma from the communityaround so that they can restore their hope and dignity. 

By investing in mushroom growing and spawn production which will be sold locally to other farmers in Kasese the project will strengthen the capacity of 35 women and in particular 15 women living with HIV. 

It will provide increased knowledge to women mushroom farmers through the establishment of a mushroom training centre, equipped with a miniature laboratory for constant spawn production and at least 5 training programs on mushroom technologies. By learning about the different mushroom species these women can develop their understanding of the opportunity that mushroom growing can offer. The relatively small start up costs, excellent climate conditions, fairly simple process and short yield period of 3 months makes this an obvious immediate solution that can have long term impact on the lives of these women. 

Project Partner:

Hope for Rural Women

News on Mushroom Spawn and Production Project