BY TAURAI SITHOLE
MUKONO village in ward 2, Chimanimani became a hive of activity on December 09, 2023 as a self-help organisation named Participatory Organic Research, Extension and Training (PORET) in collaboration with a youth-led organisation named Valley of Hope (VOH) Organisation held a mushroom training workshop for villagers.
The workshop was facilitated by Valley Of Hope Organisation advisor, Johnston Ngezimana and was attended by 34 participants from Shati, Mukono, Chibuwe, Nemutenzi, Jinga and Zvokuitirwa village in ward 2, 3 and 5.
PORET outreach officers, Virginia Karisawu and Chitenderano Mutsadyanga led the proceedings.
Issues that were tackled included (a) stages taken when growing mushrooms, (b) stages of pasteurization and (c) indoor management of mushroom.
Participants were divided into three groups and each group was assigned to answer of the above questions. The purpose of answering the questions was to measure participants’ level of understanding in mushroom production.
By end of the session, farmers managed to identify key that include knowing the mushroom variety such as pink, white and grey oyster, setting out the house, shelves, hanging strings, knowing conditions needed like moisture content and security of the premises.
Other issues identified include preparation, use of disinfections in the soil and the whole room, booking of mushroom seed, substrate media such as maize stalks, wheat, stalks, sawdust, minimum disturbance of seed, transportation, boiling of media in drums to kill bacteria, soaking the media before boiling, adding lime to speed up the reaction of pasteurization and maintaining of hygiene.
The participants went further to discuss conditions for mushroom germination which include enough darkness, cleanliness, air tightness of the room, period of hanging of bags and holing.