OpenIDEO is an open innovation platform. Join our global community to solve big challenges for social good. Sign Up / Login or Learn more

POVERTY ALLEVIATION THROUGH MUSHROOM FARMING AS A BUSINESS

sustainable mushroom farming technology for growing, harvesting, processing, packaging, transporting, marketing, consuming, to improve live

Photo of Anthony Gyabaah
3 3

Written by

Lead Applicant Organization Name

WISE CHOICE CREATIVITY EMPOWERMENT FOUNDATION. (CREATIVE PROBLEM SOLVING)

Lead Applicant Organization Type

  • Small NGO (under 50 employees)

If part of a multi-stakeholder entity (i.e. team), provide the names of other organizations and types of stakeholders collaborating with you.

N/A.

Website of Legally Registered Entity

N/A.

How long have you / your team been working on this Vision?

  • 1-3 years

Lead Applicant: In what city or town are you located?

Konongo, Ashante Region-Ghana.

Lead Applicant: In what country are you located?

GHANA, WEST AFRICA

Your Selected Place: what’s the name of the Place you’re developing a Vision for?

The Asante Akim Central Municipal is one of the districts in Ashanti Region, Ghana. It was formerly the Asante Akim North Municipal.

What country is your selected Place located in?

GHANA, WEST AFRICA

Describe your relationship to the place you’ve selected.

I came to Konongo in 2015 as miner at Patriensa, a town via Konongo to start mining. I later realise that it was not what I have to do and it was during this working that I identified their challenges and what can be done given their little resources than illegal mining. As I plan to stop, I identified a project requiring limited land and resources that can be implemented to improve their livelihoods, abject poverty and environmental degradation which is affecting mushroom production.

Mushroom farming in Ghana for beginners is an exciting venture because you do not have to own a large farm to start. The fact that you can get it done indoors is attractive too. Many farmers in Ghana are embracing mushroom farming because of the high returns it guarantees. It is easy to venture into and requires reasonable amounts of capital. With excellent hygiene, you will be reaping great benefits in a matter of weeks.

Describe the People and Place: Provide information that would be helpful for an outsider who has never been there and may have no context about this Place to better understand the area.

Konongo (also known as Konongo-Odumase), is a gold bar mining and manganese mining community located in Ashanti, Ghana. The people are predominately farmers. The town serves as the capital of the Asante Akim Central Municipal. As of 2012, Konongo has a settlement population of 71,238 people. Konongo is about 53 kilometres (33 mi) from Kumasi, the Ashanti capital in Ghana.

The Gold mining town of Konongo has always been a lively town. It was a very boisterous town many decades before the 1950s. Konongo was the commercial capital of the Kumasi East Council which later became the Asante-Akyem District. The Gold mines that was owned by British companies attracted many nationalities from the West African Sub-Region as well as other ethnic from West African Sub-Region.

What is the estimated population (current 2020) in your Place?

71238

Challenges: Describe the current (2020) and the future (2050) challenges that your food system faces.

Ostensibly, the municipal has challenges ofenvironmental degradation, food insecurity, abject poverty, poor livelihoods,high unemployment and illiteracy. If we do not start self-help projects for thecommunity, we shall face more challenges such as increased conflict for the limitedresources, more environmental degradation due to poor mining and farming methods,food insecurity, pollution of water bodies, more loss of organics soilnutrients as the natural habitat of mushroom are destroyed, bigger incomeinequality among community hence less growth and development of the district. 

Address the Challenges: Describe how your Vision will address the challenges described in the previous question.

  • Effecting the project for mushroom farming technology as a business for food security and improved livelihoods shall be used to address the listed challenges as follows:- Information gap shall be addressed by conducting a rapid appraisal baseline study to map the current mushroom farming technology, their challenges and current livelihoods. Same information shall be used for evaluation of the project. Capacity building of the selected members on mushroom farming technology as a business shall improve the knowledge of the community on better mushroom farming technology methods, using local materials to produce mushroom and being able to grow lots of high-value local food, in an easy and reliable way.

  • One also does not need access a large land, and chances are that no one else in the area is already doing it.

  • Anyone could make a part time income from it, or run it as a community food project.

  • The skills acquired by the community shall enable them to engage in other income generating activities than mining which degrades the environment.

  • Provision of mushroom growing start-up kits at a small fee shall ensure sustainability of the project, ownership and rolling to more members in future.

  • The harvesting of mushroom by the community shall lead to an organised cooperative for processing, certification, packing and marketing of mushroom and its value chain products to meet the demand of the current target market and future export.

  • 80% success of the project shall improve the livelihoods of the community due to side income from various sales out-lets as follows:

  • Your local farmers market: farmers markets have become massive in recent years as people seek out high quality produce from small artisan producers. Taken mushrooms along and will find plenty of interest.
  • The best restaurants in your area: good chefs instantly recognise the high quality and taste of fresh mushrooms & are happy to pay for them - especially if they can advertise you as a local supplier on their menu.
  • Your local veg box CSA scheme: having a diverse selection of locally grown crops really helps generates interest. Adding mushrooms will excite box customers & keep them happy through the leaner months.
  •  Nearby health or wholefoods stores: people who appreciate fresh & local food tend to either get a veg box or they shop for it at specialist food stores. Local mushrooms go down great in these stores too.

High Level Vision: With these challenges addressed, now provide a high level description of how the Place and the lives of its People will be different than they are now.

  • If 60% of the sub-county smallholder farmers are involved in the project, their livelihoods shall improve, less insecurity among the youth given the employment got from making mushroom products and the environment shall be conserved which shall also ensure food security of the community. Working in a cooperative model shall lead to cheap inputs, easy access to market, financial products and information.

Full Vision: How do you describe your Vision for a regenerative and nourishing food future for your Place and People for 2050?

  • If the model is replicated to all districts, Ghana shall become the food basket of the world for natural food, given surprising health benefits.

Whether you eat them raw or cook, mushrooms can fight everything from cancer to aging.

  • They have cancer-fighting properties

  • Mushrooms are immunity-boosters

  • They help lower cholesterol. 

  • They're high in B and D vitamins. 

  • Mushrooms have anti-inflammatory powers. 

  • Mushrooms may help cancer patients. 

  • They could help fight aging.

How did you hear about the Food System Vision Prize?

  • Website
  • Facebook

3 comments

Join the conversation:

Comment
Spam
Photo of Debbie Ajei-Godson
Team

Anthony Gyabaah great idea for land degraded communities nationwide. Your vision will thrive in land degraded communities in my region as well. What do you think about a collaboration?

Spam
Photo of Anthony Gyabaah
Team

Well, why not , we can collaborate. Thank for that

View all comments