I’ve just finished two days training with our staff team here in Mzuzu. Vision and purpose; planning and goal setting; time management; and rounded off with marketing & financial planning – all good stuff! It was great to see such enthusiastic participation and a great desire to learn and develop.

One clear action arising from our training sessions, is that we are setting up working groups to take forward our research and development projects including:

  • Solar drying of fruit
  • Composting and manure production
  • Mushroom growing

Team members will join the group that catches their interest and then take forward each project.

At the weekend, I met up with an old friend, Stephen Bota, and he introduced me to the Tisange Mushroom Growers’ Association. We have been thinking about mushroom production for some time – it is lighter work and would be great for our friends at the Disability Association in Mzuzu, who struggle with traditional farming or even greenhouse farming. I had a fascinating couple of hours with Clement Gondwe, the Chairman of the association. Clement is a retired vet and he has developed his own laboratory in Mzuzu, producing spawn for oyster mushrooms. He is passionate about it – so much so that he wouldn’t let me go in to take photos because of risk of contamination!

Clement, in his training room

Our newly established “Mushroom Team” will work with Clement to develop mushroom growing throughout the city. MFT has chilling and packaging facilities and the crucial links to market. We can even dry the mushrooms in our new solar dryer – more to come on that soon!