Project overview

Mushroom Integrated Food Production System (IFPS) is a mushroom-based integrated food production system that aims to train women in mushroom production.

The problem

It is estimated 35 percent of rural households and 83 percent of urban households in Zimbabwe are food insecure and struggle to buy the food they need. Approximately 90 percent of children and 60 percent women of child-bearing age have no access to adequate nutrition. In addition, the World Food Programme reports that 27 percent of children are stunted. Conventional agriculture is failing to meet demand and research indicates that on average, every hectare of the major cereals cultivated in Zimbabwe produce only 11 percent actual food, with the remaining 89 percent ending up as waste. 

A smallholder farmer standing front of a field of maize. Photo: WFP/Samantha Reinders


The solution

Mushroom-based IFPS complements conventional agriculture as it builds on conversion of the abundant agro-industrial lignocellulosic biomass into nutritious and high value mushrooms and a by-product that is used as a fertiliser for crops and or even animal feed to produce more and diverse foods. The system combines fungiculture, horticulture, poultry farming and livestock production through a mix of recycling and upcycling of agro-industrial lignocellulosic biomass – creating a circular production where there is zero waste.

Project participants


Users icon
People trained in a Training of Trainers initiative and in subsequent mushroom growing training sessions
House icon
One-stop mushroom shop launched
Partnerships icon
Mushroom hubs formed in East and South Harare
The way forward

The team has trained 160 women in the process of mushroom production and aims to train 500 more in the next months. In July 2022, the project launched a shop in Harare, Zimbabwe where the products generated by the producers are currently being displayed and sold. A key element on the deployment of the solution is the engagement with local authorities in Harare and their acceptance of the initiative.

On the left, a poster for the one-stop shop for mushroom farmers; on the right, a refrigerator with mushroom inside



Last updated: 17/08/2022