There are a number of challenges we face as mushroom growers in Zimbabwe by mentioning them here I
hope I will get feedback from you on how we can solve some of these things.

1. Bogus trainers: we have too many bogus trainers, the worst I have seen do not grow mushrooms and
just give theoretical training, its so sad, this has led to many challenges we have to face, due to such training, we have
people who have lost confidence in the industry. Some of the trainers seem to have never read a
mushroom growing book or at least read an article because what they teach is simply dangerous. There are
so many people whom when I talk to tell me they need potato sacks to grow oyster mushrooms, I am not sure who
popularised the idea, I am not saying its wrong, but the point is it seems when he/she trained he/she taught
one method and its not the best and it seems to me the trainer did not research well, many people have lost money to these trainers firstly by paying to be trained secondly
applying methods that are outdated or which do not work, this challenge is not only peculiar to Zimbabwe but
it is common across Africa.

I supplied spawn to an orphanage in Karoi, due to negligence and poor training they did not do so well, as is common people quickly shift the blame to the spawn supplier so they took the spawn to the nearest mushroom grower who quickly concluded that it was “fake”, what was  clear is the grower was not told spawn can come in different forms or spawn can be on sawdust or any other material, this goes back to my point on poor trainers.

2. Lack of a growers association, this challenge is linked to the above as the association can regulate growers and trainers and bring back order, an association is very important to the growth of the industry, There are a lot of inconsistencies that we need to address and they can only be addressed if we join hands, for this reason I have joined others in the quest to form the association you can phone me or visit our group on face book: Mushroom Growers Zimbabwe if you want to join or get more information on what progress we have made in that endeavour.

I will talk of other challenges in future posts: