About 5 000 farmers in Mzimba North have ventured into mushroom production to wean their families from the cycle of poverty.
The farmers, with support from Rural Development Partners (RDP), grow the mushroom for sale all year round without depending on rains.
In an interview during a field day on Friday, RDP chairperson in Luhomero area Ackson Chione said mushroom is on high demand during summer when the produce is scarce.
“Some buyers travel all the way from Mzuzu to buy the mushroom to sell in their shops,” he said.
Chione said proceeds from mushroom production are used to support needy farmers who borrow it to invest in farming.
RDP director Daniel Nyirenda said mushroom production is one of the components of Integrated Project which seeks to empower people to move out of extreme poverty.
He said the project has programmes in water and sanitation, food security and housing.
“We noticed that people lack economic empowerment because they don’t have formal employment.
“So, even if we increase their maize production, we thought they would still end up selling the maize for money; hence, training them in mushroom production,” he said.
RDP is implementing the project to the tune of K50 million for five years from a Canadian charity Love a Village. n