In many regions across the world, agriculture is the most prevalent form of livelihood. However, lack of proper infrastructure, natural disasters, disease outbreaks and ongoing conflict often plague agricultural advancement in developing countries, causing productivity to suffer and the cycle of poverty to continue.
By introducing the world’s most impoverished communities to supply chain best practices, sustainable farming, and livestock development techniques, farmers are able to better their production and preserve their land for future use. World Hope International’s agricultural programs help farmers grow more food for themselves or the market, combat hunger and provide long lasting food security.
To learn more about WHI’s current agriculture efforts, read the 2015 Agriculture Annual Report.
By gathering the organizations, people, technology, activities, information and resources necessary to move a product or service from the world’s most impoverished communities to eager customers, World Hope International is helping to transform entire countries by creating supply chain opportunities for improved livelihoods.
In partnership with Pennsylvania State University’s Humanitarian Engineering and Social Entrepreneurship Program (PSU-HESE), World Hope International’s Greenhouses Revolutionizing Output (GRO) project improves water sustainability to ultimately boost food security and help alleviate poverty. While conventional small-scale greenhouses are expensive, high-maintenance and difficult to construct, The GRO project’s Affordable Greenhouses are portable, expandable, cost less than $800 per unit and can be constructed in two days. Using WHI’s existing network in Sierra Leone, Mozambique and Zambia smallholder farmers learn how to intensify their farms and grow vegetables year-round. Learn more.
One of the newest programs in Cambodia is our mushroom cultivation program. Mushrooms are grown on agricultural waste from one annual planting of rice followed by an annual planting of mung beans. The mung beans are both a cash crop and soil enhancer. The dried mung bean stalks and empty pods are added to the rice straw to create the mushroom growing medium. After three growing cycles of mushrooms, the medium is decomposed and returned to the rice field as compost. Farmers average about 2.5 acres of rice paddy, which is enough to provide sufficient waste for one Mushroom House year around. Several crops of mushrooms can be grown in a single year, and the mushrooms are sold at the local markets.
Since launching in 2016, these Mushroom Grow Houses have been proven commercially successful: They are accessible, affordable and provide a year-round cash flow to the farmers that utilize them. In support of the Mushroom Grow Houses, WHI drills deep boreholes, which provide access to water for surrounding households. WHI also connects farmers to markets, which is the last step in ensuring that increased production leads to increased income.
Throughout 2016, WHI worked with farmers in Cambodia to grow mushrooms for sale in local markets and saw the rapid expansion of 23 Mushroom Houses. This growth in mushroom cultivation is partly due to market linkages being developed by WHI. Fair and consistent demand and pricing are encouraging smallholder investment in the mushroom houses. Twenty-five farmers are now invested in Mushroom Houses, which on average show a return on investment in three and a half months.
The mushroom project is also attracting new partnerships, such as the Preak Leap National School of Agriculture, who are interested in identifying student research projects around alternatives to rice straw as a growing medium for mushrooms. Bambusa, the company working on GRO Greenhouses, is also finishing a new design of mushroom house “kits” that will be assembled upon delivery, taking building time from two weeks to just a few days.
To learn more about our Mushroom Grow House project, see our 2016 Agriculture Annual Report and consider making a donation to our Mushroom Cultivation Project.