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Mushroom Growing Business for Uganda: The Real Magic Uncovered

    • 10 posts
    August 7, 2022 11:47 AM +0430

    'In only 90 days, I could get over Shs. 50 million from the 7,000 stems of oyster mushrooms I grew. Each stem produces an average of 1.5kg of mushrooms because 90 day period, and a kilo of mushrooms ranges from between Shs. 5000 and Shs. 8000.'


    Mr. Kiddu Abel of the African Grower's association Limited


    Mr. Kiddu who is described above is right, mushrooms do grow quick. Their complete growth cycle is typically 15 weeks (about 4 months), even when using rudimentary methods. In Uganda it is common to develop them with polythene bags suspended from the ceiling/roofs of dark grass thatched huts. The polythene bags being stuffed with damp cotton seedlings along with maize brand, cotton or timber waste. With modern methods however, the mushrooms start to sprout after 1-3 days.

    So with the above in mind, how will you start to earn money to "feed the gods" of Kampala and it's surrounding areas?


    1. Small Market.

    Whilst mushrooms are technically not vegetables Wonder bars, they're often classified as a result and owing to a low-level of disposable income, they're often not considered a necessity by Ugandans and therefore market is often limited to supermarkets and a few markets. The East African and International markets according to additional research reports I have viewed seem to exhibit that exports from Uganda would not be competitive in comparison with other countries. Industry will not therefore be significant but I however think that the demand still outstrips the supply and by having an increasing middle class, it is expected that demand for mushrooms will continue steadily to grow.

    2. Perish ability

    Mushrooms are highly perishable and need to be consumed fast or properly preserved immediately after harvest; either through drying them or freezing. For the heightened farmer, I would recommend that you preserve them by drying them using a tunnel dryer. A tunnel dryer is estimated per Uganda Investment Authority (UIA) to cost $250. At September 2012's exchange rate that is about Shs 632,000. I however expect that to function as the non commercial type since the commercial ones come in the number of $6,500 but I believe the non commercial is a great starting point. There's needless to say a chance that the creative manufacturers of Katwe near Kampala can allow you to a nearby tunnel dryer.

    An alternative to drying is to own refrigeration facilities to keep them fresh as some consumers including export markets prefer fresh to dried mushrooms.

    3. Water.

    Mushrooms need constant way to obtain water and a moist dimly lit environment to develop favorably. We therefore recommend having an underground water tank to ensure constant way to obtain water.

    4. Edible types.

    Identifying and consuming only the edible types is a challenge, poisonous types with harmful toxins can quickly be mistaken for edible ones. I would recommend that you contact a skilled grower to assist you discover the commercial and edible form of mushrooms. The most typical types in Uganda being the oyster and the button types.


    1. Little Space.

    Growing mushrooms doesn't need a lot of land or space. It is very suited to even a Kampala suburb dweller and mushrooms can be grown in your backyard or store.

    2. Simple process.

    Mushroom growing is straightforward and doesn't require a lot of expertise and intensive care. The art of mushroom growing can be mastered quickly and easily as compared to other agricultural products or plants.

    A word of caution, regardless of the simple learning, it is worth visiting a character in Uganda to get firsthand training. You can look at Kabale district which owing to its cooler climate is renowned for mushroom growing and even has modern commercial facilities.

    3. Profitability and return on investment.

    I estimate the Return on Investment because of this sector is the following:


    • Launch capital : Shs.4,420,000
    • Profitability : 19,170,000
    • Return on Capital (A/B): 0.23 years


    Final word

    Mushroom growing is easy to learn and with low start-up costs and returns in about 3 months as shown above. This is therefore a cracking venture to start. It can be a sustainable venture as mushrooms are a very good alternative source of protein.

    Mushroom growing therefore has got the double benefit of being profitable and best for town (as a wholesome living option).

    Otherwise best of luck!

    For over 8 years I have caused several clients providing audit, accounts, tax and advisory in sectors including agriculture, mining, entertainment, financial services and technology.

    My client portfolio in Uganda, The Bahamas and The Channel Islands, United Kingdom has equally been diverse and this experience has given me a "well rounded" view of business including several clients in this sector.