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Create mushroom-growing kits from excess coffee pulp

Based on the idea of Back to the Roots mushroom kits, I propose training rural Caldas residents to prepare mushroom-growing kits from leftover coffee pulp that could be sold to their local community.

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Written by DeletedUser

In Tanzania, Sustainable Harvest is training local residents to grow mushrooms on excess coffee pulp, which is not very effective for feed or fertilizer. Back to the Roots produces mushroom growing kits that use recycled coffee grounds as a base for the mushrooms. Why not build on that idea, and use coffee pulp instead of ?


  • It could provide business opportunities for Caldas residents (women especially)
  • The kits could be distributed throughout the community - this could be especially fun for kids
  • The mushrooms provide a valuable protein source
  • Coffee pulp that has been used as a food source for mushrooms is suitable for livestock feed - we should try to recover pulp after it has been harvested


  • Convincing locals to pay for mushroom growing kits (or mushrooms).
  • Convincing farmers that this is a better use for their pulp than fertilizer (according to Grameen, this is how pulp in Caldas is commonly used)
  • This may be better if mushrooms are grown and harvested by those who prepare the pulp
  • Others?

I would love to hear your thoughts.

Read more:

Back to the Roots
Growing Mushrooms on Coffee Pulp

Also, thanks to Simon for the Back to the Roots tip!

How do you envision this idea making money?

Sales of mushrooms to community.

How does this idea create social impact, particularly around improving health?

Mushrooms are a valuable protein source, and carbohydrate-rich diets are a problem in Caldas.

How does this idea add social value at every step of the process?

1) Provides a valuable use for excess coffee pulp, possibly improving local water quality 2) Provides an outlet for poor people to generate income 3) Provides a protein source to the community 4) Excess pulp can be reused as livestock feed

What are the short term steps we could take to implement this idea tomorrow?

Learn more about growing mushrooms on coffee pulp and give it a try in Caldas!

Evaluation results

8 evaluations so far

1. How well do you think this concept considers life in low-income communities?

It is highly relevant to low-income communities - 75%

It is somewhat relevant to low-income communities - 12.5%

It does not significantly consider low-income communities - 12.5%

2. How effectively does this concept use social business principles (that is, it has social benefits for the community but does not pay dividends?)

This concept uses social business principles very well - 50%

This concept could be easily modified to incorporate social business elements - 50%

This concept does not connect with social business very well - 0%

3. How easy would it be to implement this concept?

Easy! This could be started immediately - 66.7%

It would take some time and planning – but I bet I could see progress in the near future - 33.3%

This concept would need extensive planning, partnerships & resources in place to get going - 0%

4. To what extent will this concept improve people’s health?

This concept would significantly improve people’s health and wellbeing - 37.5%

This concept seems like it might improve health, although maybe indirectly - 50%

This concept doesn’t really have much to do with health - 12.5%

5. Overall, how do you feel about this concept?

It rocked my world! - 37.5%

I liked it but preferred others - 62.5%

It didn’t get me overly excited - 0%


Join the conversation:

Photo of Fei Xin

It sounds interesting. This idea ont only can provides a enough protein, but also is so funny for children. Since if children get enough protein everyday, it will good for the healthy.

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