International Fund for Africa (IFA) Announces Ethiopian Mushroom Farm
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FROM International Fund for Africa (IFA)
May 2021

IFA's aim is to have the mushroom farm generate profit that can be used to sustain our school health and nutrition program. Additionally, IFA will use the mushroom farm as a vocational training center.

International Fund for Africa

The Purpose of the Mushroom Farm

IFA has established an income-generating mushroom farm that will be recognized as a supplier of quality mushrooms in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. Its purpose is to improve livelihoods through economic and nutritional contributions by helping to reduce vulnerability to poverty both as a nutritious source of food and as a reliable source of income through profit generated from the sales of mushroom. IFA's aim is to generate profit that can be used to sustain our school health and nutrition program. Additionally, IFA will use the mushroom farm as a vocational training center.

mushroom darkroom

Our Product and Services

Mushrooms are a nutritious vegetarian delicacy and have many varieties. Most of them are edible. They contain many vitamins and minerals and are also very low in sugar and fat. They are grown between 20 and 300 C and require average humidity of 55%. Addis Ababa, Ethiopia provides such a conducive environment for the cultivation of mushrooms. Fresh mushrooms can be sold in the market. There is also a growing market for processed, dried and packed mushrooms as their shelf life is longer. There are two main varieties of mushroom viz. button type and oyster.

We are now growing oyster mushrooms which are easy to cultivate and process and do not require a huge investment. This project can be commenced anywhere in the country. Currently IFA's mushroom farm is in Kazanchis area of Addis Ababa.

Oyster mushrooms
Oyster mushrooms

IFA's Business Structure

IFA's business structure is set up to help the business follow the vision. IFA has a plan to ensures that it gets it right by employing competent people on the farm to attain the goals and objectives. The structure now has a mushroom farm manager, two assistants, a purchaser, an administrative officer, an accountant/cashier, a delivery driver, and a cleaner.

IFA works in partnership with the Agri-Horticultural Directorate of the Federal Ministry of Ethiopia with technical assistance from China Aid mushroom technology experts and Addis Ababa University's (AAU) Science and Technology Department. IFA has successfully developed the technical know-how to run the program. The signed Memorandum of Understanding has identified IFA's mushroom farm as one of the five strategic sites that will also serve as a resource center for developing urban agriculture in Ethiopia. Additionally, IFA's mushroom farm coordinator was selected by the Ministry of Agriculture to receive an extended training in mushroom farming at the university of Fuja, in China. The head of IFA's mushroom farm is a trained biologist experienced in running a spawn lab.

IFA's products and services include:

  • Fresh mushrooms (oysters for now and button mushrooms soon)
  • Processed mushrooms (dried and soon frozen)
  • Consultancy and advisory services
  • Trainings

The Market Potential

Mushrooms are a vegetarian delicacy and a suitable substitute for meat and eggs. They are easily digestible as well. They are very popular in most of the developed countries and being accepted in many developing countries like Ethiopia. The market for mushrooms is growing rapidly because of their nice aroma, subtle flavor, nutritious values, and special taste. Many exotic preparations are made from them like soup, pickles, vegetables etc. Consumption of mushrooms is increasing in Addis Ababa. Other major cities in Ethiopia are also potential markets. The demand for mushrooms is increasing as more people are recognizing their importance. We have carefully chosen our channels of distribution that would ensure that our mushrooms reach potential customers.

IFA's Manufacturing Process

IFA has paid careful attention to preparing good compost, reliable spawn and maintaining the right temperature during growing period to prevent partial or complete crop failure. IFA uses cottonseed waste, wheat or barley straw, coffee-ground, and gypsum for compost preparation. The mushrooms are grown in heat resistant polyethene bags that are filled with compost. The bags of compost are then sterilized, injected with spawn, and stacked on shelves that are placed in the incubation room (dark room) where water is frequently sprayed to maintain the required level of humidity.

We invite all friends and supporters of IFA to join our publicity efforts in spreading the word about our products and services to help us reach as many target markets as possible. 

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