Not so many Ugandans have realized how lucrative mushroom farming is yet. It is a pretty impressive investment only a handful of the informed farmers in Uganda are getting into.
The demand for delicious and healthy fungi is soaring, which means that the current supply does not come close to being at par with the demand. This is the strongest factor causing the high prices of mushrooms in Uganda.
As of July 2023, Shannah Supermarket was selling a Kilo of button mushrooms for almost UGX 15,000.
The current prices are at an all-time high, simply because the mushroom market in Uganda is seriously undersupplied. So if you are looking for a side hustle that is probably going to pay more than your day job, mushroom farming is the way to go.
Most people ask why mushrooms are expensive, being a fungus. One of the reasons is that mushrooms, also known as the “fruit” of the fungi family, are rich in antioxidants, lean proteins and essential vitamins.
The other reason is that mushroom farming is quite technical. The challenging manner of its growth, being that they don’t grow in soil, inhibits people from taking it on as a viable investment. This could be easily solved by a farmer getting the technical know-how from the experts at Elite Mushroom Farm Wakiso.
Investment and Returns of mushroom farming in Uganda
The initial investment is on a basic minimum. Let us take oyster mushroom farming as an example, for this is the easiest variety to produce in Uganda and Kenya. With 1 square foot of space, they could easily produce 10kgs in a year.
With the current wholesale price of UGX 10,000 to UGX 15,000 per kilo, one is expected to make around UGX 10,619,700 in turnover from a 10’ by 10’ space.
A small space is needed for the mushroom growth. A garage will do just fine, and for those without one, a grass-thatched mud house will do.
All this talk may give you the notion that mushroom farming is a walk in the park that you would start now and boom! Reap the benefits tomorrow. This couldn’t be farther from the truth, since the investment could be quite bumpy. For example, the substrate needed ought to have been sterilized in the right conditions, failure to which, the seeds wither.
After harvesting, mushrooms become highly perishable, one, therefore, needs a ready market post-harvest. Fresh mushrooms usually contain around 90% water content. Drying them has proven to preserve their nutrients and flavor hence one could invest in some drying equipment to extend their shelf-life.
Mushroom Market in Uganda
There are many individual buyers of mushrooms in Kampala and other big towns. Most of them buy at wholesale prices and resell the products to hotels or supermarkets.
So we suggest that you carry out a market survey as you start your mushroom production. Visit the local vegetable market and ask a few wholesalers whether they would be willing to buy the mushrooms from you, once they are harvested. Inquire about the price they would be willing to buy for.
Invest in good packages, since the packaging system, goes a long way in maintaining the mushrooms’ freshness. One should indicate the contact details, as well as the farm’s location, to attract future customers. Make sure to only package good quality produce.
Place placards in the local vegetable shops and around your neighbourhood. Ask your customers to spread a good word about your mushroom business to their family and friends. Make sure to always emphasize all the nutritional benefits of the mushrooms.
Farmers’ market provides a great way for farmers since they get to sell a large part of the harvest all at once. This is because market days attract large crowds, who are looking to buy from the locals. You only need to set up a booth and be ready to go.
On large-scale farming, farmers should look for companies that are producing dietary supplements from plant extracts. As discussed earlier, mushrooms are great immune boosters. Email them on their respective websites with your information.
Nowadays, WhatsApp groups offer a reliable platform for marketing your product. Create a WhatsApp group with your neighbours and update them when the product is ready for sale. Share delicious mushroom recipes to entice people into cooking the mushrooms.
Mushroom farming training
To get the details and professional help on how to grow oyster and button mushrooms, it is advisable to visit some successful mushroom farmers and learn from their experience. Elite Mushroom Farm also conducts mushroom farming training every weekday and Saturday at their farm in Wakiso. You can call them on +256 752 622 200 to book a space for training and supply.
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