News / Africa

Mushrooms Provide Healthy Living, Food in S. Sudan

Edward Kasran inspects the mushrooms he grows and sells in Juba to make a living.
Edward Kasran inspects the mushrooms he grows and sells in Juba to make a living.
Mugume Davis Rwakaringi
Jobs in South Sudan are hardly springing up like mushrooms, especially during times of austerity, but South Sudanese are resourceful and have taken to creating work for themselves -- including one Juba resident who grows mushrooms for a living.

His name is Edward Kasran, and after looking for work in the education field for almost a year, he finally shifted his focus to another way to make money: mushroom growing.

Kasran grows the fungi in his garden, which is not only filled with mushrooms but also wild and domesticated birds, which swoop and glide overhead as Kasran guides visitors through his plots of mushrooms and into the dark, damp mushroom hall, where clusters of edible fungi poke out of plastic bags containing fertilizer that, apparently, helps mushrooms to grow.

Kasran took a training course in Kampala and then launched his business with $1,000 and a healthy dose of optimism, in spite of the scepticism he encountered.

“When I told the specialists in Kampala that I am going to do mushrooms in Juba, they told me it's a waste of time, that South Sudan is so hot and mushrooms cannot grow," Kasran said.

"I told them no; I must go and try and I must produce mushrooms in Juba. My first priority is to enjoy being a pioneer of producing mushrooms in Juba and also to give a surprise to people in Juba that they are able to find fresh mushrooms.”

When the weather is hot in Juba, Kasran sprays his mushrooms with water to help them keep cool.

When there is no rain in Juba, he takes water from a 12-meter-deep well on his compound -- for the mushrooms.

When he started his business, he thought he would be able to help feed his family and sell some mushrooms on the side.

But now, he harvests two kilograms (4.4 pounds) of mushrooms every three days, and supplies fresh mushrooms to VAMP, one of the biggest food stores in Juba.

Two kilos of mushrooms brings in 50 South Sudanese Pounds. Selling that amount twice a week would mean Kasran is looking at earnings around five times greater than the average gross national income in South Sudan, which, according to the latest available figures, was around $20 a week.

VAMP General Manager Ellen Amita said the food store is delighted with Kasran's muschrooms and would like to do more business with him.

He usually supplies the supermarket with fresh mushrooms once or twice a week, and as soon as he drops off the mushrooms and VAMP staff package them for sale, "The people buy it all," Amita said.

"We want him to supply more -- as much as he can,” she said, mentioning the quantity of 30 kilos.

VAMP's customers prefer fresh mushrooms to the dried ones that are usually on offer in South Sudanese food stores, said Amita, admitting to being a fan of the fresh fungi herself.

They can be cooked in five to 10 minutes, and a kilogram is enough to feed a dozen people, she said.

Kasran, meanwhile, is looking to expand his business but needs to raise capital to do so.

“I need to allocate some capital to extend this shelter... to increase the import of raw materials from Uganda," he said.

"Then, I would hire a laborer... But  at the moment I am still studying  where to get the funds.”

He also wants to share his knowledge of how to grow mushrooms with other South Sudanese, hoping they, too, will be able to create their own jobs and help provide an alternative source of tasty, nutritious food to others.

You May Like

Hostage Crisis Could Divide Japan Over Plans to Boost Military

Japanese Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga said Monday the government is working closely with the Jordanian government to secure the release of remaining Japanese hostage Kenji Goto More

Video Brussels Shaken as New Greek Leader Challenges Europe’s Austerity Drive

Country's youngest ever PM Alexis Tsipras, 40, sworn in Monday and says he will restore dignity to Greece by ending spending cuts More

Multimedia National Geographic Photo Camps Empower Youth

Annual mentoring program's mission is to give young people a voice to tell their own stories through photography More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Obama Urges Closer Economic Ties During Historic India Visiti
X
Aru Pande
January 26, 2015 9:33 PM
U.S. President Barack Obama says the United States and India must do better to capitalize on untapped potential in their economic relationship - by removing some of the roadblocks to greater trade and investment. As VOA correspondent Aru Pande reports from New Delhi, Obama spoke after participating in India’s Republic Day celebration.
Video

Video Obama Urges Closer Economic Ties During Historic India Visit

U.S. President Barack Obama says the United States and India must do better to capitalize on untapped potential in their economic relationship - by removing some of the roadblocks to greater trade and investment. As VOA correspondent Aru Pande reports from New Delhi, Obama spoke after participating in India’s Republic Day celebration.
Video

Video US, EU Threaten New Russia Sanctions Over Ukraine

U.S. President Barack Obama has blamed Russia for an attack by Ukrainian separatists that left dozens dead in the port of Mariupol and cast further doubt on the viability of last year’s cease-fire with the Kyiv government. VOA’s Michael Bowman reports from Washington.
Video

Video White House Grapples With Yemen Counterterrorism Strategy

Reports say the U.S. has carried out a drone strike on suspected militants in Yemen, the first after President Barack Obama offered reassurances the U.S. is continuing its counterterrorism operations in the country. The future of those operations has been in question following the collapse last week of Yemen’s government. VOA White House correspondent Luis Ramirez reports.
Video

Video Kerry Warns Against Violence in Nigeria Election

US Secretary of State John Kerry visited Nigeria Sunday in a show of the level of concern within the U.S. and the international community over next month’s presidential election. Chris Stein reports.
Video

Video Zoo Animals Show Their Artistic Sides

The pursuit of happiness is so important, America's founding fathers put it in the Declaration of Independence. Any zookeeper will tell you animals need enrichment, just like humans do. So painting, and even music, are part of the Smithsonian National Zoo's program to keep the animals happy. VOA’s June Soh met some animal artists at the zoo in Washington. Faith Lapidus narrates.
Video

Video Worldwide Photo Workshops Empower Youth

Last September, 20 young adults from South Sudan took part in a National Geographic Photo Camp. They are among hundreds of students from around the world who have learned how to use a camera to tell the stories of the people in their communities through the powerful medium of photography. Three camp participants talked about their experiences recently on a visit to Washington. VOA’s Julie Taboh reports.
Video

Video Saudi, Yemen Developments Are Sudden Complications for Obama

The death of Saudi Arabia's King Abdullah and the collapse of Yemen’s government have cast further uncertainty on U.S. efforts to fight militants in the Middle East and also contain Iran’s influence in the region. VOA White House correspondent Luis Ramirez reports on the new complications facing the Obama administration and its Middle East policy.
Video

Video Progress, Some Areas of Disagreement in Cuba Talks

U.S. and Cuban officials are reporting progress from initial talks in Havana on re-establishing diplomatic ties. U.S. Assistant Secretary of State (for Western Hemisphere Affairs) Roberta Jacobson said while there was agreement on a broad range of issues, there also are some “profound disagreements” between Washington and Havana. VOA State Department correspondent Pam Dockins has the story.
Video

Video US, Japan Offer Lessons as Eurozone Launches Huge Stimulus

The Euro currency has fallen sharply after the European Central Bank announced a bigger-than-expected $67 billion-a-month quantitative easing program Thursday - commonly seen as a form of printing new money. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London on whether the move might rescue the eurozone economy -- and what lessons have been learned from similar programs around the world.
Video

Video Nigerian Elections Pose Concern of Potential Conflict in 'Middle Belt'

Nigeria’s north-central state of Kaduna has long been the site of fighting between Muslims and Christians as well as between people of different ethnic groups. As the February elections approach, community and religious leaders are making plans they hope will keep the streets calm after results are announced. Chris Stein reports from the state capital, Kaduna.
Video

Video As Viewership Drops, Obama Puts His Message on YouTube

Ratings reports show President Obama’s State of the Union address this week drew the lowest number of viewers for this annual speech in 15 years. White House officials anticipated this, and the president has decided to take a non-traditional approach to getting his message out. VOA White House correspondent Luis Ramirez reports.
Video

Video S. Korean Businesses Want to End Trade Restrictions With North

Business leaders in South Korea are calling for President Park Geun-hye to ease trade restrictions with North Korea that were put in place in 2010 after the sinking of a South Korean warship.Pro-business groups argue that expanding trade and investment is not only good for business, it is also good for long-term regional peace and security. VOA’s Brian Padden reports.

Circumventing Censorship

An Internet Primer for Healthy Web Habits

As surveillance and censoring technologies advance, so, too, do new tools for your computer or mobile device that help protect your privacy and break through Internet censorship.
More

All About America

AppleAndroid