Inner-city residents to grow mushrooms

July 27, 2021

Residents of downtown Kingston have been targeted for participation in an ambitious mushroom-growing project which is aimed at improving the lives and livelihood of residents in inner-city communities.

Mushrooms, protein-rich organisms, have been called magical because of how quickly they grow. The project is being undertaken by the University of Technology's Faculty of The Built Environment (FOBE), through its FOBE Downtown Cities Lab at Kingston Restoration Company (KRC) initiative, in collaboration with the Inter-American Institute for Corporation on Agriculture, (IICA) and the support of community-based organisations.

Dr Patricia Green, the project manager, says the initiative intends to look at the cultivation, production, distribution and consumption of mushrooms in the inner city.

"It's mushroom specific because we are collaborating with a company that grows mushrooms. However, as we go into the inner city and we begin to develop the mushroom product, what our landscapers are doing will be looking at other areas that can happen such as community gardens. We want to go into people's backyards and show them and help them to enhance their backyards so they can have other things growing in their yard," she said.

The project is expected to include formal training for participants on how to safely grow and handle mushrooms. "We have to train them. We're going to be in a training project to enable them to benefit economically from it," she said.

Green told THE STAR that they are targeting inner-city communities in downtown Kingston with this activity to uplift and enhance the lives of residents through agriculture. She said that the partners are currently in the process of selecting participants, so a launch date is yet to be confirmed.

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