By Lucky Nyasulu- Business Owner

Malaika Enterprise is a registered business under Malawi Government Business Registration Act with an aim to reduce poverty in communities by promoting sustainable income generation through climate adaptive sustainable backyard farming which uses low cost technology. Currently, the enterprise is working with 48 members of 2 Community Based Organisations (CBOs) through the promotion of small-scale organic mushroom production as an income generation activity for reaching out to 377 vulnerable individuals in 24 villages under local Traditional Authority Mwambo in Zomba district.

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Figure 2: Schematic Mushroom Production Process

CBOs are structures which work on a voluntary basis to provide Home Based Care (HBC) for chronically ill, supporting the most vulnerable children with school funds, food security and responding to natural disaster emergencies among others. Their major source of income used to be donations which phased out in 2013 hence not sustainable. CBOs still lack support and resources to effectively reach-out to more vulnerable populations in their communities.

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Figure 1: Packaging of Mushroom

Malaika has a village based model farm where Oyster mushrooms are grown. In order to increase supply on the market, Malaika is building capacity, mentoring and providing start-up resources as a way of accelerating the adoption of Flask Wall mushroom growing house technology that sustains production of mushroom in unfavourable environmental conditions. Additionally, the enterprise will be buying mushroom from farmers, package, brand and sell to customers in Zomba city which has a huge market demand for mushroom although supply still remains low and irregular because the producers are few, and also that most of them have not embraced local technology for sustained mushroom production due to limited knowledge and skills as well as start-up resources.

Malaika enterprise envisions to facilitate establishment of a Mushroom Farmers’ Cooperative; that will be promoting social economic empowerment among vulnerable rural households through their CBOs while ensuring dependable and regular supplies of best quality edible fresh mushrooms in Zomba and surrounding towns.

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