Better farming methods
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CTA. 2007. Better farming methods. Rural Radio Resource Pack 07/6. Wageningen, The Netherlands: CTA.
Permanent link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/10568/57404
Why growing mushrooms is a good option
Better farming methods Cue: When it come to farming for better nutrition for people with HIV/AIDS, there is one crop that is often overlooked in Africa. It is high in body-building protein It is easy to grow. And it sells for a good price in the market. In Tanzania Lazarus Laiser goes in search of the secrets of how to grow this very useful crop. He meets with Kiagho Msuya, a communications officer for the Ministry of Agriculture and Food security, to hear how it can be grown by rural and urban farmers alike. Can you guess what the crop is? It?s mushrooms?. IN: ?This mushroom crop in fact? OUT: ?difficult to get this education..? DUR?N: 3?14? BACK ANNOUNCEMENT: That was Lazarus Laiser reporting from Tanzania on the often ignored but very useful crop ? mushrooms. Are you tempted to grow them in your garden? The interview comes from a resource pack produced by CTA. Transcript Msuya This mushroom crop in fact it is very manageable. Most of our farmers are being taught on how to make these small housings whereby they can plant them in the house and the house itself is not very costly because they can use lets say these cheap woods and thatching with grass or banana leaves and then the inside they can make some compartments whereby they water the floor throughout and then they make some tables up and they plant those mushrooms. The mushrooms in fact is very cheap to prepare. They can do it very easily without even using much labour and also they are using a very small space. Laiser So the work will not cause any trouble or any problem to affected HIV-affected people? Msuya No because in fact they do not use much labour. Mushrooms, when you eat it, it is like tender meat, it is like tender meat. You get a lot of proteins. Especially these mushrooms have got more than 26 per cent of protein, how do you think, where will we get it so cheaply? So if they eat them of course they will become strong, they will get energy, they can sell these mushrooms. Laiser Many parts of Africa is so much dry, you find not enough water, always there is that problem. Do you think that it is possible to these ill people to grow mushrooms with that problem of water? Msuya If you are far from the sources of water then you are relying on rain. Now why don?t you do the rainwater harvesting? You can collect your water and then when it is hot and you have got your dam somewhere you can just use it for irrigating or you wait in the season of rainy season, you can practise it. Laiser How about the market for selling mushrooms? Msuya Oh the market is plenty, the market is plenty. Lets say an example in towns these big hotels especially foreigners when they come they like them very much because if you sell them only a kilo if you harvest after every two to three days about lets say five to ten kilos what do you think about it? I think they get a lot of money and it can also help them to keep up their health and also sometimes if you have got a child you can pay school fees. Laiser How do you encourage good agricultural practices to encourage the growth of nutritious food to these ill people? Msuya The practices differ from place to place according to the soil fertility or the weather, something like that or ecological zones. A good advice which I can give them so that they don?t suffer a lot they better go and request some information from the nearby extension worker whereby they will be directed on the best ways they can do such that they do not get problems or tiresomeness. If they unite in groups to come together in one group, it will be simple for them to get advice from any technician. It will be cheaper for them to get advice but if they stay in scattered ways it is difficult to get this education. End of track