This morning, I made my final visit for this trip to meet the Kajjansi Mushroom Farmers. Kajjansi is located on the outskirts of Kampala, Uganda’s largest city. This group is part of the Muru Pig Cooperative (called the Pig/Mushroom Cooperative in the timeline) and has 12 members, 8 women and 4 men. There is a good market for mushrooms in Kampala and the supply does not meed the demand. These farmers have gone for training at a commercial mushroom farm nearby and have built the structure needed for protecting mushrooms in this climate. The preparations to grow them is now beginning.
Mushrooms are a good source of Dietary Fiber, Protein, Vitamin C, Folate, Iron, Zinc and Manganese, and a very good source of Vitamin D, among other things. The plan is also to market the mushrooms not only to hotels and supermarkets, but also in the neighborhood where the farm is located, in order to help promote better nutrition. Once the farm is running smoothly, we will expand it to adjacent land.
I am ready to go home tonight, but as always, it is with some melancholy. I take with me the responsibility of raising money to support these projects. It is impossible to see the faces, the homes, the children of our clients and to not be touched by the difficulty of their lives and the strength of their spirits. That is what keeps me coming back each year.