This grant will provide the funding for a new cooperative to create the necessary infrastructure and produce 13 batches of mushrooms. Specifically, the funds will go towards the training of 2 cooperative members on the production of mushrooms, plus the necessary materials to produce them. The goal of this grant would be to provide the cooperative resources to produce enough mushrooms so that 1200kg per year can be used to provide protein for 2 local middle and elementary school cafeterias, while still remaining profitable for the cooperative, and allowing the rest of the batches to be sold to other community members. This will work in tandem with the garden projects at the school to provide meals for students during the school year.
The idea was developed based on the desires of high-up community members to improve attendance and feed the local schoolchildren. The concept was discussed by the village chief and his inner circle, and based on community meetings addressing problems with students. Several members of a local agriculture co-operative will be donating their time and labor to improve the lives of those around them. Protein has been a consistent problem in the local area and has been the basis for many attempts at local production. For this project, the community is willing to produce 25% of the cost. The ways that this cost would be contributed would include all of the labor, and the materials for building of the room to house the mushrooms. The community asks only for the cost of materials required to grow the mushrooms that are not available within village, such as substrate and quicklime which would be purchased from a local NGO, as well as travel costs.
Ultimately, after 13 batches, enough mushrooms will be produced to provide 1200 kilograms to the school cafeterias, as well as having enough left over to sell (based on prices provided by a local NGO) and make up all costs for the year and have a small amount of profit for the members to split amongst themselves or use for other community projects. Additionally, the leftover profit will increase the second year since the startup costs will no longer be necessary, and as yields improve with increased cultivation skill. This will ultimately create a sustainable yearly contribution of nutritious food for the schools, as well as a sustainable budget for the production and sustainable profit to incentivize the time of the labor.