It is 9 months between S.6 and campus, many things can happen. You could travel, enroll for a few certificates, look for a job or sit home and watch movies all day. But starting a home project is an even better way to spend this much time at home. Making use of the back yard, boys quarters or the garage can be very profitable. LinkmeUg met David Luboyela from Entebbe who has started mushroom growing and found an exporter to buy his mushrooms.
LinkmeUg: When did you decide to go into entrepreneurship?
David: While at Caltec Academy Makerere in H.A.C I was a student of entrepreneurship and that is when the school brought us the Educate Uganda program. Educate Uganda is an NGO that develops leaders and entrepreneurs by working with secondary schools. They trained me to be a mentor and entrepreneur.
LinkmeUg: So how do you decide o start a mushroom business?
David: After my S.6 exams, I knew I could not get a job with my Form 4 papers so I began looking for ways of doing something on my own. One day as I was listening to a local radio station, there was an agricultural program and it was about mushrooms and how one can earn from it.
I sat up on my bed and listened attentively. After that program, I made up my mind to start the business but I didn’t have the money and needed more information.
LinkmeUg: So how did you solve these?
David: Educate Uganda trained us on how to raise funds. I talked to my family [dad and siblings] and convinced them to raise some funds for my project. I raised 500,000/= from them.
A sister told me of her friend in Mukono who grows mushrooms, she taught me at no cost.I started off in the back yard of one of my sister’s house.
LinkmeUg: What does mushroom growing entail?
David: Set up a cool place, I used papyrus at the top and around it and charcoal residue on the floor to absorb excess water from the plants.
- Deep the cotton husks in water and leave them to dry.
- Mix rice brand with the moist cotton husks and boil them to kill the pests in them. Mushrooms are so prone to pests.
- Pack the boiled husks in a number of bags/packets with some holes depending on the space you have.
- Put your mushroom seeds in the packets and put place them in the “plantation house.”
- Water the mushrooms twice a day.
- Wait 3-4 weeks to start harvesting.
LinkmeUg: What are the profits like?
David: A friend introduced me to an exporter getting me about 400,000shs a week depending on the quantity I supply. This year, I plan to grow mushrooms on a large scale and to be able to export it in larger quantities.
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