Amid a number of shocks caused by climate change, inflation, loss of formal employment and the COVID-19 pandemic among others, urbanites like Evermerry (42) from Mzilikazi suburb in Zimbabwe’s second largest capital, Bulawayo have switched to growing protein-rich oyster mushrooms to raise incomes, improve livelihoods, and reduce food insecurity for her household.
While mushrooms have traditionally been eaten in different parts of Zimbabwe, most people pick them from the wild and do not grow them commercially.
The Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC) is supporting the World Food Programme (WFP) and the Dan Aid Church to help the urban poor grow oyster mushrooms commercially so as to increase incomes and reduce food insecurity through the Urban Food Security and Resilience Programme.
Rich in vitamins, mushrooms are a valuable and relatively cheap source of proteins.
The Urban Food Security and Resilience Programme is also enhancing climate smart livelihoods and supporting economic empowerment opportunities; enhancing community led infrastructural rehabilitation and environmental protection; and strengthening community and institutional systems to enable inclusive collaboration and social innovation.